News on Imprisoned Campaign Members and Women’s Rights Activists
CAMPIAGN IN PRISON
Tuesday 3 February 2009
Statement issued by nearly 900 women and civil society activists
Change for Equality: Nearly 900 women’s rights and civil society activists have signed a petition requesting the judiciary to immediately and unconditionally release Khadijeh Moghaddam and Mahboubeh Karami and drop the charges against all the 12 activists arrested on March 26th, while meeting up on a street corner to go for visits of the late Dr. Zahra Baniyaghoob’s family, on the occasion of the Iranian New Year. Read the statement.
Change for Equality: Twelve women’s rights activists were arrested today on March 26, 2009, on Sohrevardi Avenue in Tehran, while meeting up to go for New Years visits of families of imprisoned social and political activists. Ten of those arrested are members of the One Million Signatures Campaign. The Campaign members arrested are: Delaram Ali, Leila Nazari, Khadijeh Moghaddam, Farkhondeh Ehtesabian, Mahboubeh Karami, Baharah Behravan, Ali Abdi, Amir Rashidi, Mohammad Shourab, and Arash Nasiri Eghbali. Also Soraya Yousefi and Shahla Forouzanfar were also arrested.
According to reports from family members of those arrested, these women’s rights activists were first transferred to Niloofar Police Station, then some were taken to Galoobandak Police Station, and later all were transferred to Evin Prison. Currently all these women’s rights activists are being detained at Evin prison’s general ward for female inmates.
According to reports from family members who were present outside the police stations and who had a few minutes to talk to those arrested, these women’s rights activists are facing two charges, including: disruption of public opinion and disruption of public order. Additionally a bail order for a third party guarantee by a government employee has been issued for these women’s rights activists in the amount of 50 million Tomans (roughly $50,000). It should be noted that while a third party guarantee bail amount is a lighter bail amount than bail orders which require the posting of a bail amount, stipulating that the guarantee must be provided by a government employee makes it difficult to post bail and as such the detention of these activists may be extended unnecessarily.
One women’s rights activist at the scene of the arrest explained that: “we had set up a time to meet on Sohrevardi Avenue so that we could go to visit some of the families of imprisoned social and political activists on the occasion of the New Year. When we arrived at our meeting place, we were faced with police and plain-clothes security officers who were taking pictures and video taping us and taking note of the license plate numbers of our vehicles. We started out toward our destination before the others, but on our way to the home of one imprisoned social activist our friends contacted us by phone to report that they were being arrested by security officials.”
It is customary that on the occasion of the Iranian New Year, which coincides with the first day of Spring, friends and family members visit one another. Women’s rights activists have long made it a habit to visit the families of imprisoned social and political activists as a demonstration of solidarity and support for those imprisoned and for their families.
Sussan Tahmasebi: If Alieh’s belongs in Prison, then all Women should be Imprisoned In an interview with the site of Change for Equality, Sussan Tahmasebi a member of the Campaign, who has been sentenced to a two year prison term (six months mandatory) in relation to the June 2006 protest in Hafte Tir Square discusses the violence embedded in the implementation of Alieh Eghdamdoust’s prison sentence. Read the Interview with Sussan Tahmasebi.
Entesari: They Took Advantage of her Loneliness In an interview with site Change for Equality, Shahla Entesari a member of the Campaign who has a case in appeals in relation to the peaceful protest in Hafte Tir Square in June 2006, for which Alieh Eghdamdoust is serving a three year prison sentence, tells us a little more about Alieh. Read the Interview with Shahla Entesari.
Change for Equality: February 4, 2009: Women’s rights activists have created a petition in support of their imprisoned colleague Alieh Eghdam Doust. Individuals can support these women by signing the petition. Organizations too can support them by adding their organizational name to the petition. We thank you in advance for your support of Alieh Eghdamdoust who is serving a three year prison term for merely voicing her objection to discrimination against women. Visit the petition and sign it online.
Human Rights First: On Friday, January 30, three members of the One Million Signatures Campaign, a grassroots campaign to reform gender discrimination in Iranian laws, were arrested while collecting signatures in northern Tehran. Read the statement.
Change for Equality: Alieh Eghdamdoust who had been sentenced to three years of mandatory prison as a result of her participation in the June 12, 2006 protest in Hafte Tir Square was transferred today under guard supervision to the Office of Implementation of Sentences at the Revolutionary Courts. Alieh Eghdamdoust, a woman’s rights defender, was arrested during the protest objecting to discriminatory laws against women in Hafte Tir Square in June 12 2006, and spent a week in prison. She was sentenced by the 15th security branch of the Revolutionary Courts to three years and four months mandatory prison sentence and 20 lashes. The appeals courts upheld three years of the mandatory prison sentence, reducing her original sentence by four months and 20 lashes. Read the full story.