Above is a photo taken during the June 12 demonstrations of Iranian women in which 40 women and 30 men were arrested. Some are still in prison; many were beaten and injured. The women and men who were arrested were scheduled to be tried for their part in the demonstrations this week.
But today, an estimated 50 additional women activists have once again been arrested and brutalized during a peaceful demonstration before the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Below are photos of some of the arrested women, taken by Iranian photographer, Arash Ashoorinia, who also shot the photo at the top. Ashoorinia’s photos were assembled by the blogger Kangamir.
According to Lady Sun:
Now all my friends are arrested. Shadi, Asieh, Parastoo, Nasrin… I can’t help crying. 50 of the women’s rights movement activits were arrested in front of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. The security police forces attacked a peaceful gathering of women’s rights activists that had taken place at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran in objection to the recent governmental oppressions and the summoning of some of these activists. The police forces who used violence to scatter the crowd arrested at least 21 of the protestors.
According to Iranian blogger Feminine, “The police officers hit Nahid Jafari’s head to the police van and as a result of such violent actions, her teeth broke and the officers are currently refusing to take her to the emergency room.”
According to Arash Ashoorinia of Kosoof back in June:
The sit-in on 12th June 2006 had been widely advertised online and was a peaceful plea to the Iranian government to change its unequal gender laws. The principle demands were as follows:
• Abolition of polygamy
• The right of divorce by women
• Joint custody of children for mothers and fathers
• Equal rights in family law
• Increasing the minimum legal age for girls to 18 (currently it is 15)
• Equal rights for women as witnesses in courts of law
Today’s arrests follow an incident of several days ago in which three Iranian woman journalists, pictured above, were also arrested. According to Herland:
Tala’t Taghinia, Mansoureh Shojaie, and Farnaz Seify, women’s rights activists, journalists, and members of the Women’s Cultural Center, were arrested at Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, while trying to exit the country to attend a journalism training in New Delhi India. After their arrest, security forces escorted the three activists to their homes, where their personal affects, such as their books, computers and computer cases, were searched and seized. After a search of their homes, these three activists were transferred to Evin Prison, 209th Ward.
Talat, Mansoureh and Farnaz were among the organizers of the June 12 demonstrations. They are also part of the One-Million Signatures Campaign.
According to Lady Sun:
Farnaaz also runs an active feminist blog in Persian. …It’s amazing how this government is afraid of feminist activists. Evin prison is where high profile political prisoners are being kept…Shirin Ebadi, Leila Alikarami and Nasrin Sotoudeh have accepted to be their attorneys. …They are released on bail.
In another blow to Iranian’s women’s rights, the United States has refused to grant visas for members of the all-women Iranian delegation which was to attend the 51st conference of the UN Commission on Status of Women in New York. According to Family Affairs Director Zohreh Tayebzadeh Nouri, a group of nine women, including three reporters, three students, and three researchers had applied for the Visa with the U.S. consulate in Switzerland but their applications were turned down.
I can’t find any statement issued by the United States so far about why the women’s visa applications were rejected. What’s going on here? We have Iran violently suppressing women’s peaceful protests in Tehran, and we have the United States making it impossible for the Iranian women’s delegation to be present at the meeting of the United Nations in New York. Does this have to do with the fact that when the UN convenes, the UN Security Counsel expects to have a draft resolution on additional sanctions in Iran? When will the women be heard, and by whom?
What we can do for now:
Spread the word:
Write a letter to Seyed Mahmoud Shahroudi, Head of Judiciary, Mr. Golam-Ali Haddad-Adel, leader of the Iranian Parliament, and Mr. Mahmoud Ahmandinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ask the Iranian authorities to uphold the law and refer to article 27 of the Iranian constitution, “Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are not deterimental to the fundamental principles of Islam. Ask for immediate and unconditional release of all the women’s rights defenders.
Send to Head of the Judiciary:
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (mark “Please forward to HE Ayatollah Shahroudi”)
(Salutation: Your Excellency)
President: His Excellency Dr. Mahmound AhmadiNejad
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax +98 21 649 5880
(Salutation: Dear Sir)
Golam-Ali Haddad-Adel, the leader of the Iranian Parliament
Majlese Shura-ye Eslami
Imam Khomeini Avenue,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +98 21 646 1746
(occasionally difficult to reach, please be patient.)
(Salutation: Dear Sir)
It is not always easy to send faxes and e-mail to Iran and we urge you to also courier your letters to the Iranian embassy in your country. (See listing here.)
Pass it on, women, pass it on.
In solidarity with the women of Iran,