Amensty International Statement on Mahboubeh Karami


Thursday 18 March 2010

Amnesty International has issued an urgent action regarding the detention of women’s rights and Campaign activist, Mahboubeh Karami. The urgent action appears below.

PUBLIC Index: MDE 13/029/2010

12 March 2010

UA 50/10



Mahboubeh Karami (F)

Women’s rights activist Mahboubeh Karami has been detained in Evin
prison in Iran’s capital, Tehran, since 2 March. Amnesty
International believes she is a prisoner of conscience, held
because she campaigns for human rights. She is at risk of torture
or other ill-treatment.

Mahboubeh Karami has been a member of the Campaign for Equality
since its foundation in 2006. The Campaign aims to end
discrimination against women in Iranian law.

Mahboubeh Karami’s house in Tehran was raided by three security
officials at 10pm on 2 March. Prior to her arrest, they searched
the house and confiscated some of her personal belongings.
Mohsen Karami, her brother, told the Human Rights Activists News
Agency, a website run by an independent Iranian human rights
organization, that the warrant for her arrest listed charges of
rioting and "participation in gatherings". He said that these
charges were baseless, as "Mahboubeh has spent much of the last
year caring for her ill father."

Mahboubeh Karami has been arrested four times before on similar
charges. Each time, she was detained for several days before being
released. She was later acquitted of all charges. See UA 86/09
and follow-up; and UA 169/08.

Her arrest is part of a wave of arrests of human rights defenders,
journalists and political activists which have been carried out
since the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution on 11 February
2010, and which have stepped up since the start of March 2010.


The Campaign for Equality, also known as the One Million
Signatures Campaign, is a grassroots women’s rights initiative,
aimed at ending discrimination against women in Iranian law. It
was launched in August 2006 with the aim of collecting a million
signatures of Iranians calling for the reform of legislation which
discriminates against women. Over 50 members of the Campaign have
been detained for their activities on behalf of the Campaign.
In August 2009, in the first of a series of mass "show trials" of
people arrested following the disputed presidential election held
in June, the women’s rights movement was named by the prosecution
as being part of an alleged "velvet revolution" aimed at
overthrowing the government in Iran. Noushin Ahmadi Khorassani and
Parvin Ardalan, both prominent members of the Campaign for
Equality, as well as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi, who
has supported the Campaign since its foundation, were all
mentioned as leaders of sections of the women’s movement, although
they were not on trial.

Several activists from Iranian human rights organization, the
Centre for Human Rights Reporters have been detained since late
December. Three of them have told relatives they are facing
pressure during interrogation to accept allegations against them
on the basis of which they could be charged with moharebeh (being
at enmity with God) and sentenced to death (see: UA 347/09 and
follow-ups). The Committee for Human Rights Reporters has also
been targeted: at least five of its members are currently detained
(see UA 347/09 and follow ups)

Amnesty International fears that such arrests and harassment of
human rights activists mark a fresh crackdown on their peaceful

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English, French or
your own language:

* Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Mahboubeh
Karami, who is held solely for her peaceful exercise of her right
to freedom of expression and association in connection with her
women’s and other human rights activities;

* In the meantime, urging the Iranian authorities to protect her
from torture or other ill-treatment and to grant her immediate and
regular access to her family, her lawyers and to any adequate
medical treatment;

* Reminding the Iranian authorities that freedom of expression and
association are guaranteed under the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights to which Iran is a state party.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS TO: (Time difference = GMT + 3.5 hrs / BST +
2.5 hrs)

Head of the Provincial Judiciary in Tehran

Ali Reza Avaei

Karimkhan Zand Avenue

Sana’i Avenue, Corner of Alley 17, No. 152

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran


Salutation: Dear Mr Avaei

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani

Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran,

Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: Via website: starred

box: your given name; second starred box: your family
name; third: your email address

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights

Mohammad Javad Larijani

Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh

Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri

Tehran 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: 0098 21 3390 4986

Email: (In subject line: FAO Mohammad
Javad Larijani)

Salutation: Dear Mr Larijani


His Excellency Mr Rasoul Movahedian Attar, Embassy of Islamic
Republic of Iran,

16 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1PT.

Fax: 020 7589 4440



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