Interview with Isa Saharkhiz

Security Crackdown against Women’s Rights Activists is in Violation of the Law and International Conventions

Interview by: Elnaz Ansari/Translation by: Sussan Tahmasebi

Tuesday 22 January 2008

Change for Equality: While emphasizing the need to change discriminatory laws, Isa Saharkhiz, Journalist and political activist, has called the security crackdown against women’s rights activists a violation of national law as well as a violation of International Conventions. In an interview with the site of the Campaign, Change for Equality, Saharkhiz, a member of the Association for the Freedom of the Press, condemned the arrests of women’s rights activists and prison sentences issued against them. He continued further by claiming that: "we need to accept that to date women’s rights have not been dealt with in appropriately. Women’s rights need to be given special consideration if we are to institutionalize democracy and human rights. It is unfortunate that despite this reality we are witness to the violent beatings of women’s rights activists in the streets, the perpetuators of this violence are acquitted and these same women are then imprisoned on security charges." Saharkhiz went further by claiming that the crackdown against activists involved in the Campaign is in violation of national and international law. "The violation of these rights will damage the credibility of the Islamic Republic and without a doubt the burden of this shame will be endured by ordinary citizens." In the end Saharkhiz claimed that " These women are asking for changes in the current law through the most peaceful of means, and a security oriented approach toward this movement is regrettable. Of course, in my opinion, women’s rights should be obtained through a comprehensive political rights agenda, but these demands and this movement results from a historical developments and in the process to obtain these comprehensive rights certain special advantages must be foreseen with respect to women’s rights."

Read the interview in its original Farsi


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