Mansoureh Shojaee, Morteza Kazemian and Noushin Ebadi Arrested

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Committee of Human Rights Reporters: Mansoureh Shojaee, a member of the Women’s Cultural Centre, the One Million Signatures Campaign, and the Feminist School group, and Morteza Kazemian, a member of the Centre for the Freedom of Journalism, were detained by security officers on Tuesday, December 29th. Noushin Ebadi, a professor at the Azad University, Tehran, and the sister of Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was also arrested at her home and taken to Evin Prison by agents from the Ministry of Intelligence.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Shojaee’s lawyer, confirmed her arrest and added that “a group of agents claiming to be from the Ministry of Intelligence showed up at Shojaee’s house at 11p.m. when she wasn’t home. Despite her absence the security forces searched her property. When Shojaee finally returned home at 3a.m., the agents arrested her and took her to an undisclosed location.

This is the third time that Shojaee has been arrested. She was first arrested on 14th August 2007 at an instructional workshop being held by the One Million Signatures Campaign in the city of Khorramabad along with twenty-four other participants and instructors. She was arrested for a second time on 26th January 2009 in connection with her participation in a journalism workshop in India.

Sotoudeh, who is also the lawyer of Morteza Kazemian, the other detainee, commented that “Kazemian was also detained in a raid by four security service agents. After searching his home from 12 to 3a.m., the agents took him with them but there is no information on where he is being held.”

Shirin Ebadi, in a statement that she issued regarding her sister’s arrest, writes that “during the past two months my sister has been summoned several times by the Ministry of Intelligence and they have told her to persuade me to desist from my human rights activities, and what is more they told her that she had to vacate her residence, which is located in the vicinity of my own apartment. They threatened her with arrest and told her that in the event of my continuing with my human rights activities and her not changing her residence, she would be detained.”

The new wave of pressures on and arrests of women’s rights activists has raised serious concerns about their well-being. On December 20th, another women’s rights activist, Somayeh Rashidi, was arrested. Over the past couple of days a number of other political and civil rights activists have been detained. Emadeddin Baghi, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi and Haleh Sahabi are among the new detainees.

After at least 8 people were killed in clashes in Iran [on the holy day of] Ashoura, we are now witnessing a new wave of arrests of civil and political activists by security forces.


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