Iranian Women Rights Activists Celebrate 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day under Pressure and Behind Bars

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Change for Iranian women’s rights activists commemorate the 100th anniversary of international women’s day while facing increased pressures and while many of their colleagues remain in prison. While the activists in the One Million Signatures Campaign have remained active carrying out trainings and awareness raising activities on women’s rights the pressure on them as well as other women’s rights activists is increasing. The Campaign embarks on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s day while several of its activists remain in prison including:

Ronak Safazadeh, Kurdish women’s rights activist, currently serving a 6 year prison sentence in internal exile. She was arrested on October 9, 2007 and has been in prison since. Ronak Safazadeh is also a member of the Azar Mehr women’s NGO in Kurdistan Province.

Zeinab Bayazidi, Kurdish women’s rights activist currently serving a four year prison sentence in internal exile in the city of Zanjan. She was arrested on July 9, 2008. Her appeals process, as noted by her lawyer, was unusually speeding and suffered from legal irregularities.

Alieh Eghdamdoust, women’s rights activist, sentenced to serve three years in prison in relation to her participation in the peaceful protest in Hafte Tir Square on June 12 2006. She is currently serving her prison term in Evin. She has been in prison since February 1 2009.

Bahareh Hedayat, women and student rights activist currently serving a 9.5 year prison sentence at Evin prison. She has been denied visits and contact with her family. Bahareh was arrested on December 27, 2009 and has remained in prison since.

Nasrin Sotoodeh, human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist sentenced to 11 years of prison and 20 year ban on legal practice and travel. Nasrin was arrested on September 4 2010 and remains in prison while she appeals her sentence. New charges have been brought against her since her arrest.

Fatemeh Masjedi, women’s rights activist currently serving a 6 month prison sentence in Qom for her involvement in the Campaign. She was arrested on Friday January 28, as she was on her way to Tehran from Qom and taken to prison to start serving her sentence, despite the fact that her lawyer had filed a judicial review in her case.

Farnaz Kamali, women’s rights activist, arrested during protests on February 20, 2011. Her situation, the charges against her and her location remain unclear. She has been allowed one telephone call to her family from prison.

Also, many Campaign activists have been sentenced to prison terms in relation to their human rights or journalist activities, which have either not been implemented yet or are in appeals, including:

Mahboubeh Karami, Campaign activist who has been sentenced to serve a 3 year prison term, but the sentence has not yet been implemented.

Shiva Nazarahari, Campaign and human rights activist has been sentenced to serve a four year prison term, but the sentence has not yet been implemented.

Jila Baniyaghoub, Campaign activist and journalist has been sentenced to a 1 year prison term and a 30 year ban from journalistic activities.

Kaveh Kermanshahi, Campaign and human rights activist in Kermanshah has been sentenced to a 5 year term, which he is appealing.

Other women remain in prison during the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day well. They include women’s rights activists, student activists, journalists, political figures and human rights activists.

Some of the women currently in prison in relation to their activism include: Mahdieh Golroo, student activist, Haleh Sahabi, women and peace activist, Fariba Ibtahaj, women’s researcher and political activist, Hengameh Shahidi, journalist, Mahsa Amrabadi, journalist, Nazanin Khosravani, journalist, Atefeh Nabavi, student activist, Shabnam Madadzadeh, student activist, Zeinab Jalalian, Kurdish rights activist, Fatemeh Karoubi, political activist, Zahra Rahnavard, political activist, Fakhrolsadat Mohtashamipour, political activist, Leila Tavasolli, political activist, Mahvash Sabet, religious minority, and the list goes on…

We wish all our readers a happy International Women’s Day celebration. Here’s hoping that our colleagues and friends will be free and out of prison for next year’s celebration of the day for women.


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