Mahboubeh Karami Released on Bail َ

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Change for Equality: Mahboubeh Karami, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, was released on bail in the amount of 100 million Tomans (roughly $110,000) yesterday, August 25, 2007, after having spent nearly 70 days in detention.

Karami spoke with the site of Change for Equality a day after her release. In this interview, Mahboubeh Karami rated the condition of the prison where she and other women had been detained as very poor. She, however, emphasized that after her encounter with female inmates at Evin prison and the hope they had for the realization of the demands of the Campaign she felt more committed than ever before to continue with her activism on behalf of women’s rights.

Mahboubeh Karami, who was released a couple days prior to the 2nd anniversary of the launching of the One Million Signatures Campaign, congratulated activists and women involved in the effort by saying: "I hope that one day we will be able to celebrate the anniversary of the Campaign internationally. I want to congratulate all my friends in the Campaign and all Iranian women on this occasion."

Karami continued by describing her impressions of the female ward at Evin Prison. "Imprisoning women’s rights activists in reality only means that we have been relocated from one home to another. Because from the moment I entered the female public ward at Evin prison female prisons came to greet me. They all knew about the Campaign and its aims and were hopeful about its capacity to create change. My feeling during that time was that I had entered my second home. These female inmates congratulated me on the struggle and resistance of women’s rights activists involved in the Campaign, and their endurance against continuous pressures over the last two years."

Karami emphasized that she plans to continue more determined than before along her path of working toward the realization of equality between men and women. She went on to explain that the 100 million Toman bond that she had to put up for her release reduces the joy she feels as a result of her freedom. Karami explained further that: "along with me, tens of other women from different age groups were arrested. Officials at Vozara detention center treated us well, but the interrogations in Evin prison were very insulting and rough. After interrogation all the women were in tears because of the intensive insults they endured. After interrogation, I too spent the night crying and wondering why it was that women in our country had to endure such insults and be treated in such a despicable manner."

Mahboubeh Karami was arrested on June 13, 2008 in Vanak Square. She has been charged with actions against national security and her court is scheduled for the Fall of this year. She is being represented in court by Houshang Poorbabai and Shirin Ebadi.


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