Iran steps up arrests of women’s rights and human rights activists. This past weekend, on the one year anniversary of the disputed June 2009 elections, Narges Mohammadi, a feminist and vice-president for Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi’s human rights organization, was arrested. No information is known about where she is being held or the charges against her.
Iranian authorities have especially targeted Ebadi and her organization, the Defenders of Human Rights Center, in an effort to stop her advocacy for human rights and women’s rights. Her organization’s offices were raided and shut down in December 2009. Then in January, Ebadi’s sister, a professor in dentistry, Noushin Ebadi, was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents and held without charge for 17 days before her release. Then Shirin Ebadi’s husband, Javad Tavasolian, was arrested for 3 days and forced to videotape a “confession” making derogatory comments about Ebadi and her work for human rights. Javad’s passport was confescated and Shirin and Javad’s assets, bank accounts, and pensions were frozen by the government.
Many women’s rights leaders, including more than 50 women involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign for Women’s Equality, have been arrested – and some have been tortured. The One Million Signatures Campaign demands an end to discriminatory laws against women in Iran. You see, being a feminist in Iran is a crime against the state.
Please voice your support for the Iranian feminists as they fight for equality and freedom. Your support and emails have helped in the past, and these women and courageous activists need our help again.
Ebadi, who cannot return to her country, has shown repeatedly she cannot be intimidated by the threats and arrests. She needs our support – as do the brave women leaders of the Million Signatures Campaign who, despite arrests, threats and intimidation, continue their work on behalf of women’s full equality.
Take a moment now to show your solidarity with the One Million Signatures Campaign and Human Rights activist Shirin Ebadi by sending emails to protest the arrest of Narges Mohammadi and other feminists, and to demand women’s equality under the law and respect for universal human rights.
We must not be silent in the face of this oppression.