Women’s Rights Activist and Researcher Detained
(21 October 2008) Iranian intelligence agents detained Esha Momeni, an activist in the One Million Signature Campaign and a graduate student doing research for her thesis on the Iranian women’s movement, on 15 October 2008. The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called on the Iranian authorities to immediately release Momeni and end their prosecution and persecution of women’s rights activists.
According to the One Million Signatures Campaign, Momeni was detained while driving in Tehran. She is being held in Section 209 of Evin Prison and has had no access to a lawyer. After detaining her, security agents searched her home and confiscated her computer and personal belongings, including material relating to her thesis research.
Momeni is a graduate student at the School of Communications, Media, and Arts at California State University, Northridge. She had been visiting Iran for the past two months and conducting research for her thesis, including making video interviews with members of the One Million Signature Campaign.
“There are no legal grounds for detaining and interrogating Momeni. Unfortunately, this is the continuation of a pattern of prosecutions and harassments by the Intelligence Ministry directed at women’s rights activists,” theInternational Campaign for Human Rights in Iran stated.