Persecution of Women’s Rights Campaigners Intensifies
(16 April 2009) A new report by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran documents that the persecution of women’s rights advocates has intensified in the past year.
For the first time, a women’s rights advocate, Alieh Eghdamdoust, has been jailed for three years solely for participating in a peaceful demonstration on behalf of equal rights for women in 2006, in which 70 others were also arrested.
“Publicly expressing support for women’s rights has effectively been criminalized in Iran, as the authorities felt no need to cite trumped-up security or other charges in the case,” said Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign. “If Alieh Eghdamdoust can be jailed for simply exercising her internationally guaranteed human rights, hundreds of others may meet the same fate.”
Iranian authorities arbitrarily shut down the Defenders of Human Rights Center, the main supplier of bro-bono legal defense and other support for the women’s rights movement. Attacks on Nobel Peace Laureate and human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, the Center’s founder, and confiscation of her files, indicate a more aggressive crackdown on the women’s rights movement.
Over the past year, numerous members of the Million Signatures Campaign and other groups working peacefully and legally to change Iran’s discriminatory laws have been arrested, searched, interrogated, prevented from meeting, and subjected to travel bans preventing them from traveling abroad.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran’s full report is available at:
Report on the Status of Women Human Rights Defenders — April 2009