On the Verge of the Presidential Elections: Pressures Increase on Campaign Members
One Year Mandatory Prison Sentence for Parastoo Alahyaari, Transfer of Maryam Malek To Vozara Detention Center
Saturday 25 April 2009
Change for Equality: At a time when some social, political and women’s rights activists are focused on expressing their demands for women’s rights from presidential candidates, activists involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, who have transformed the discourse and demand for women’s rights into a broad-based social demand and who have paid a high prices in ensuring legal equity for women in Iran, are facing increased and severe pressures and limitations. Today Maryam Malek, a women’s rights defender and member of the Campaign was transferred to Vozara Detention Center and Parastoo Alahyaari, also a member of the Campaign was sentenced to a year mandatory prison sentence.
Transfer of Maryam Malek to Vozara Detention Center:
Maryam Malek, a member of the One Million Signature Campaign was issued a temporary arrest order and transferred to the Vozara Detention Center, earlier today on April 25, 2009.
This women’s rights defender appeared at the 14th Branch of the Security Police at 8:30 am on April 25, 2009, after receiving a summons. After several hours of interrogation, Malek was transferred to the Revolutionary Courts where a temporary arrest order was issued in her case, after which she was transferred to Vozara Detention Center. Prior to being transferred to Vozara Detention Center, Maryam Malek told our colleagues that she had faced many accusations during her interrogation, all of which she had denied.
On Wednesday April 22, security police arrived at Maryam Malek’s family home, with a search warrant. After searching the entire premises, security police confiscated her personal computer, her school books, and other personal belongings. Once the search and seizure of property ended, these security officials presented Maryam Malek with a summons to appear in the Office of the Security Police for interrogation. The security police present at the scene, threatened that should Maryam fail to appear for interrogation, an arrest order would be issued in her case.
Parastoo Alahyaari Sentenced to One Year Mandatory Prison Sentence
Parastoo Alahyaari, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, was sentenced to a year mandatory prison sentence on the charge of spreading propaganda against the state.
The ruling by the court, which Alahyaari reviewed at the Revolutionary Courts on the morning of April 25, 2009, reads: “given the totality of information in the case and our investigations and the report by officials, as well as the defense statement by the accused, her confession that she is a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, her confessions that she invited people to her home and convened numerous meetings for the purpose of moving forth the goals of the Campaign and its programs, and herself is engaged in signature collection toward the one million signatures the Campaign seeks to collect, with the excuse that the laws are discriminatory in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and her sending out information related to the Campaign to various sites whilst promoting the impression that the Islamic Republic is a system with legal discrimination, and also spreading of propaganda against the state for use by countries opposed to the Islamic Republic, and given the fact that the accused and other members [sent out this information] knowingly for misuse by foreign countries, the charge of actions against the state through the spread of propaganda against the holy Islamic Republic has been sufficiently proven. The courts, with reference to Amendment 550 of the Islamic Penal Code, sentence the accused to one year mandatory prison sentence.”
In the last court hearing in the case of Parastoo Alahyaari, which was held on the April 13, 2009 in the 28th Branch of the Revolutionary Courts, Judge Mogheisi did not allow Parastoo or her lawyer to present an oral defense in response to the charges against her, and only a written defense in relation to the case against Alahyaari which was prepared by her lawyer and submitted to the courts, was accepted by Judge Mogheisi.