Mehrnoosh Etemadi and Hayedeh Tabesh Released

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Change for Equality: Mehrnoosh Etemadi and Hayedeh Tabesh, activists in the Campaign were released on Tuesday December 8, 2009 from the Central Prison of Isfahan. Mehrnoosh Etemadi was released after spending 15 days in detention and posting a bail of 50 Million Tomans (approximately $50,000) and Hayedeh Tabesh was released after spending 3 days in detention, with a third party guarantee in the amount of 5 Million Tomans (approximately $5,000).
These women’s rights activists were released despite the fact that a request for a temporary arrest was submitted in the case of Hayedeh Tabesh to the prosecutor, and in the case of Mehrnoosh Etemadi a request for changing the bail order to a temporary arrest order had been put forth to the prosecutor’s office. The deputy prosecutor at the Revolutionary Courts in Isfahan did not approve these requests and an order for the release of these women’s rights defenders was issued instead.

The charge against these two women’s rights activists is “action against national security through activism in the One Million Signatures Campaign and through carrying out activities intent on empowering women.” Six other activists have been charged with involvement in the Campaign, but have been acquitted on these charges.
Mehrnoosh Etemadi explained to the site of the Change for Equality that: “despite all the hardships of being in prison and the ongoing interrogations by Security officials, the opportunity to meet female inmates, who in many respects are blatant examples of the various types of discrimination faced by women, was a valuable experience for me as a women’s rights activist.”

In this respect, Hayedeh Tabesh explained to Change for Equality that: “the female inmates were very respectful toward us, and listened to our explanations about the Campaign and legal problems faced by women because of discrimination in the law with great interest.”

The Campaign activists in the provinces have faced arrest, threats, and interrogations on several occasions. After the arrest of Ronak Safazadeh and Hana Abdi, who faced charges of activities in the Campaign, among other charges, Zohreh Asadpour, Fereshteh Shirazi, Navid Mohebi, Zhina Moddaressi Gorji, and many other activists in the provinces have faced pressures, including arrest, interrogations and search of their homes. There have also been other pressures which have been indirect or not reported, such as threats, illegal summons, expulsion from employment and university as well as travel bans.


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