Detention of Women’s Rights Activists Arbitrary

Observatory Issues Urgent Action in Support of Raheleh Asgarizadeh and Nasim Khosravi

Saturday 23 February 2008

Change for Equality: The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint program of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organization for Torture (OMCT) issued an urgent action alert on February 20, 2008, protesting the arbitrary detention of Campaign members Raheleh Asgarizadeh and Nasim Khosravi. The statement issued by the Observatory appears below:


IRN 001 / 0208 / OBS 021

Arbitrary detention / Judicial proceedings


February 20, 2008

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint
programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and
the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent
intervention in the following situation in *Iran*.

*Brief description of the situation:**

The Observatory has been informed by the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) of the arbitrary arrest of Ms. Raheleh
Asgarizadeh and Ms. Nasim Khosravi*, two members of the One Million
Signatures Petition Campaign, which seeks to put pressure on the Iranian legislators in order to withdraw provisions that have adverse effects on women’s human rights.

According to the information received, on February 14, 2008, Ms.
Asgarizadeh and Ms. Khosravi were arrested in Tehran’s Daneshjoo Park, while collecting signatures in support of the Campaign’s petition. After their arrest, they were taken to Tehran’s police station n°129 (Jaami) and then transferred to the security police station number 8 for
interrogation. Upon completion of their interrogation, they were
transferred to the Vozara detention centre.

On the morning of February 15, 2008, Ms. Asgarizadeh and Ms. Khosravi
were taken to the Revolutionary Court, where they were charged with
“propaganda against the state”. A bail of $22,000 was set for their
release, but the two were transferred to Evin prison as they were unable to provide the bail, and where they remain detained as of issuing this urgent appeal.

The Observatory expresses its deep concern about the ongoing harsh
repression of the Iranian authorities against human rights defenders, in
particular women’s rights activists involved in the One Million
Signatures Campaign, and recalls that more than a hundred of women’s
rights activists have been arrested, interrogated, or sentenced in the
past two years and that the government has raised over one million Euros by imprisoning the activists and releasing them on high bail.

The Observatory further wishes to insist on the fact that Iran had
committed to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and
protection of human rights”[1] by presenting its candidacy to the Human Rights Council 2006 election and had insisted in this regard on the fact that the country had “continuously put great efforts into safeguarding the status and inherent dignity of the human person as well as the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms”[2]. In order to ensure the continuation of these efforts, the Observatory urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to conform with international human rights standards.

*Actions requested:** *

Please write to the authorities in Iran urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and
psychological integrity of Ms. Raheleh Asgarizadeh* *and Ms. Nasim
Khosravi as well as all activists engaged in the “One Million
Signatures” campaign;

ii. Release Ms. Raheleh Asgarizadeh* *and Ms. Nasim
Khosravi immediately and unconditionally* since* her detention is
arbitrary as it merely aims at sanctioning her activities in favour of
women’s human rights;

iii. Drop all arbitrary charges against them and all
women’s rights defenders involved in the “One million signatures” campaign;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at
the judicial level, against Iranian human rights defenders;

v. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration
on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, Article 6.b, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others [...] freely to publish, impart or
disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human
rights and fundamental freedoms”, and Article 12.2, which provides that
“the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by
the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association
with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de
jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a
consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to
in the present Declaration”;

vi. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and
regional human rights instruments ratified by Iran.


· Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed
Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom,
Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98.21.649.5880 / 21.774.2228, Email: / /;

· President, His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency,
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of
Iran, Fax: + 98.21.649.5880, E-mail:;

· Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Hashemi
Shahrudi, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of
Iran, Fax: +98.21.879.6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567 / +98 21 3 390 4986,
Email: /;

· Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr. Manuchehr
Motaki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98.21.390.1999, Email:;

· Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran, His Excellency
Mohammad Javad Larijani, C/o Office of the Deputy for International
Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building,
Panzdah-Khordad (Ark) Square, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +
98 21 5 537 8827

· Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du
Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email:;

· Ambassador Mr. Ahani, Embassy of Iran in Brussels, avenue
Franklin Roosevelt, 15 A. 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39
15. Email: .

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Iran in your
respective country.


Paris - Geneva, February 20, 2008

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this
appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:


Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

[1] In accordance with GA resolution
A/RES/60/251 establishing the Human Rights Council.


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