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Over 80 Organizations and Activists Express Concern Regarding Safety of Shirin Ebadi

Growing Demands for Protection and Guarantee of Shirin Ebadi’s Civil and Political Rights

Wednesday 31 December 2008


Change for Equality: The Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace, along with 80 organizations and activists has issued a second statement expressing concern for the saftey of Shirin Ebadi, who has faced increasing pressures in recent weeks. Both statements issued by WLP appear below:

January 5, 2009

Growing Demands for Protection and Guarantee of Shirin Ebadi’s Civil and Political Rights

The situation of Nobel peace laureate and human rights defender Shirin Ebadi grows increasingly critical. Over the last two weeks the organization she heads, Defenders of Human Rights Center, was shut down, false accusations of tax evasion were made against her in the media, her private law offices were raided and confidential case files seized, and on January 1st a mob of 150 demonstrated in front of her house in an orchestrated attempt to connect her to the Israeli actions in Gaza. Protestors began kicking the door to her home and vandalized the exterior of her property in an attempt to further intimidate her.

We condemn the Iranian government’s campaign against the country’s most prominent human rights activist, and demand that they guarantee Shirin Ebadi’s safety and her civil and political rights.

Join the over eighty human rights organizations and activists who have expressed grave concern for Ms. Ebadi’s safety and human rights. Send an email to wlp@learningpartnership.org.

For more information, see WLP’s alert issued on December 30th, Change for Equality website, Feminist School website, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s statement of concern.

Organizations

* African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS)

* Anti Trafficking Center, Serbia

* The Arab Resource Center on Violence Against Women, Jordan

* Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM), Morocco

* Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

* BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights, Nigeria

* Center for Women’s Global Leadership

* Collective for Research and Training on Development-Action, Lebanon

* Creating Hope International

* Education Society of Malopolska (MTO), Nowy Sacz, Poland

* English PEN

* Fondation Surgir, Switzerland

* Human Rights Center/Citizens Against Corruption, Kyrgyzstan

* International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

* Kadın Emeğini Değerlendirme Vakfı/Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work, Turkey

* Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa

* Secularism Is A Women’s Issue (SIAWI)

* Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan

* Sisters in Islam, Malaysia

* Van Kadin Dernegi (VAKAD)/ Van Women’s Association, Turkey

* Women’s Centre, Bombay

* Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace

* Women’s UN Report Network (WUNRN)

* Women Poverty Eradication Centre (WOPEC), Cameroon

Individuals

* Munerah Ahmed

* Eersa Sami Ahuja, Pakistan

* Anwar H. Alkhalldy

* Jane Anderson

* Dr. Nimat Hafez Barazangi

* Hana Bhuiyan

* Andrea Michelle Chavez

* Manasi Dash

* Maureen Daly

* Mary Lou DeFino

* Dr. Mehrdad Emadi

* Rachel C. Fletcher

* Pie Friendly

* Mouna Ghanem

* Vanessa Griffen, Fiji

* Dr. Hormoz Hekmat

* Tom Hennes

* Dr. Juliet Hunt, Independent Consultant on Gender and Development

* H. Patricia Hynes

* Ali Kabiri

* Darius Kadivar

* Kanchan Lama, Independent Gender Adviser, Nepal

* Theresa de Langis, Ph.D.

* Cat Lucas

* Maryam Majd

* Eleonora Barbieri Masini

* Dr. Belle McDonnell, Anglo American University, Czech Republic

* Sabine Missistranoo, President of Honour of the Belgian League for Human
Rights

* Sophie Moochhala

* Naomi Myrvaagnes, Brandeis University Women’s Studies Scholars Program

* Azar Nafisi

* Sabri Najafi

* Elaine Nonneman

* Ayo Obe, Legal Practitioner, Nigeria

* Billie Paris

* Pamela Day Pelletreau, Ph.D.

* Alexandra Pittman

* Dr. Shirley Randell AM, Consultant, Gender and Governance for Empowerment,
Rwanda

* Monica M. Ringer, Asst. Prof. Middle Eastern History, Departments of History and
Asian Languages & Civilizations, Amherst College

* Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Coordinator: femLINKPACIFIC - Media Initiatives for
Women

* Leni M. Silverstein

* Sharan Tabari

* Dr. Nada Ler Sofronic, "Woman and Society," Sarajevo

* Maheen Sultan

* Kehinde Taiwo Ph.D, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

* Kamran Talattof, Professor

* Sue Telingator

* Nayereh Tohidi, Ph.D., Professor & Chair, Gender & Women’s Studies
Department, California State University, Northridge

* Aleyamma Vijayan, Sakhi,India

* Lynne Wasserman

* Barbara Scott Winkler, Professor of Women’s Studies, Southern Oregon
University

* Nancy Wrenn

* Akuila Yabaki

* Faizun Zackariya, Centre for Development Initiatives, Sri Lanka

Women’s and Human Rights Organizations Concerned for the Safety of Shirin Ebadi

Change for Equality: The Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP), along with nine other women and human rights organizations has issued a statement expressing their concern regarding the increased harassment of Shirin Ebadi and other women’s rights defenders. The statement appears below. To sign the petition visit WLP

December 30, 2008

We, the undersigned, representing women’s and human rights organizations working in Muslim-majority countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, express our grave concern for the personal safety of Shirin Ebadi. Ms. Ebadi, a staunch defender of women’s rights activists and human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran and internationally, has been subjected to increased intimidation and harassment by security forces of the Islamic Republic in recent weeks. These actions follow escalating acts of persecution against women activists ranging from search and seizure of computers and personal property and closure of websites to travel bans, imprisonment, and sentencing of tens of prominent women’s rights defenders. Women’s rights activists have been routinely accused of “acting against the national security of the state” for their peaceful activities calling for equal rights for women and men.

Ms. Ebadi is a founding member and head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, a nongovernmental organization that was forcibly closed by security forces on December 21. A few days later, following a search that yielded no incriminating evidence, Mehr News Agency, affiliated with the government, reported that Ms. Ebadi had failed to pay her taxes – an allegation that has been refuted by Ms. Ebadi. Yesterday, security officers identifying themselves as tax officials stormed and raided her private law offices, attempting to seize two computers and confidential client files, which she refused to surrender until she was forced to do so.

The first Muslim woman to be honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, Ms. Ebadi has represented numerous human rights activists and promoted legal protections for women and children in Iran. Her work in support of democracy and human rights has had a global impact. In 2006 she joined five other Nobel Peace Prize winners to found the Nobel Women’s Initiative, and she has spoken and published internationally in furtherance of her human rights work. The actions against Ms. Ebadi during the past week demonstrate a targeted effort not only to obstruct directly the work of the country’s most influential human rights defender, but also to intimidate Iranian human rights activists as a group.

We, the undersigned women’s rights activists and organizations, strongly condemn the acts of harassment against Ms. Ebadi and are gravely concerned for her personal security and the protection of the rights of women activists in the country.

For more details on the closing of the Defenders of Human Rights Center and the raid on Ms. Ebadi’s office, visit www.4equality.info/english/spip.php?article424. For updates in Persian, visit Change for Equality and www.feministschool.biz/spip.php?article1904. To join us in voicing your support for Ms. Ebadi and Iranian women’s rights activists by adding your signature to this statement, please send an e-mail to wlp@learningpartnership.org.

* The Arab Resource Center on Violence Against Women, Jordan

* Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)

* BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights, Nigeria

* Collective for Research and Training on Development-Action, Lebanon

* Creating Hope International

* Human Rights Center/Citizens Against Corruption, Kyrgyzstan

* International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

* Kadın Emeğini Değerlendirme Vakfı/Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work, Turkey

* Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan

* Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace

 

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