’One Million Signatures Campaign’: Two Iranian Women Activists Released; 11 Others Summoned to Revolutionary Court

Wednesday 18 April 2007

Women’s Learning Partnership: We are pleased to share with you that Mahboubeh Hosseinzadeh and Nahid Keshavarz, activists in the One Million Signatures Campaign, arrested on April 2nd, were released from Evin prison on April 15th. They were incarcerated for nearly two weeks for collecting signatures in support of a petition to change discriminatory laws against women in Iran.

Sign the "One Million Signatures" campaign petition calling for an end to discriminatory laws against women such as men’s uncontested right to divorce, polygamy, and child custody.
English petition
Persian petition

The released women activists and campaign members extend their gratitude to all individuals, civic organizations, and human rights and women’s rights networks who have supported them and who have helped bring worldwide attention to their struggle.

However, harassment of activists continues. Since this weekend, 11 more of our activist colleagues, have been summoned by the Revolutionary Court and charged with "violating national security," "publicity against the Islamic Republic," and "participating in an unauthorized demonstration."

The Iranian news agency ILNA reported yesterday that Information Minister, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejeie, declared the women’s movement and the students’ movement as "elements of soft subversion" against the regime. In escalating crackdown on women’s rights, the police have announced that starting this Saturday they will begin apprehending women whose dress is deemed to be in violation of the Islamic code. Women wearing short mantos (coats), tight outer garments, and inadequate headscarves will be taken to four centers. Tehran’s deputy head of police Hossein Sadjedi-Nia explained, "They will have to give a written engagement not to repeat the offense and can then leave when their family brings the appropriate clothing."

Further information: Read the activists’ reports from prison about the conditions of female prisoners:

"All Women are Victims, not Just those in Prison," by Mahboubeh Hosseinzadeh

"What will they do about the Growing Awarness among female Prisoners and their Guards? " by Nahid Keshavarz

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