Somaiyeh Farid, Women’s Rights and Campaign Activist Arrested

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Change for Equality: Somaiyeh Farid, Campaign and women’s rights activist, was arrested on the afternoon of Wednesday March 16, while she was following up on the situation of her husband, at Evin Prison. Somaiyeh’s husband, Hojat (Siavash) Montazeri was arrested on March 5. Despite repeated attempts to gain information about his whereabouts and the reason for his arrest Somaiyeh had been unable to do so.

On the morning of March 16, Somaiyeh contacted her lawyer, explaining that she had received a phone call from court officials asking her to go to the prosecutor’s office at Evin prison to claim some of her husband’s personal belongings, like his Bank cards and identification. Additionally officials had promised that she may receive permission to visit with her husband. Somaiyeh’s lawyer explained further that: “later in the afternoon around 5:00 pm Somaiyeh contacted me explaining that she and her brother-in-law had gone to the prosecutor’s office at Evin prison, but were told that the office was closed and that they needed to return the next day.” Somaiyeh explained to her lawyer that she was on her way home, but apparently somewhere along the way she and her brother-in-law were arrested. While her brother-in-law was released shortly thereafter, Somaiyeh was detained. No information on her whereabouts exists, and it is believed that she was arrested because she had been interviewed earlier in the week in regards to the arrest of her husband.

Somaiyeh’s lawyer explained that “arresting family members for conducting interviews is unprecedented and none of the family members of those detained had been arrested in the past solely for conducting interviews.”

Besides illegal telephone summons, it appears that now, arrest of family members of those detained has turned into a regular and illegal activity by court and security officials. The developments in the case of Somaiyeh Farid demonstrate that family members are not only free to follow up the case of their detained relatives and to conduct interviews with respect to the pressures they face, but that in doing so they too can be targeted for arrest.

Somaiyeh Farid is an activist with the One Million Signatures Campaign. Her colleagues remain concerned about her detention and fear that with her arrest these illegal actions will lead to further rogue actions by security officials who do not feel bound by law or justice.

Read more about Somaiyeh Farid


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