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UPDATE on OUTRAGE: IRANIAN WOMEN’S RIGHTS DEFENDER, DELARAM ALI, SENTENCED TO LASHINGS, PRISON

delaram.jpg 

Update: 

12/11/2007: The lawyer of Delaram Ali, a women’s rights defender arrested at a peaceful demonstration last year, says Iran’s judiciary has temporarily suspended her sentence.The activist, 24-year-old Delaram Ali, was among dozens of people arrested in June 2006 for protesting in Tehran against articles in Iranian law seen as discriminatory against women. Ali was initially sentenced to more than two years imprisonment plus 10 lashes. Her lawyer, Nasrin Sotoodeh, told Radio Farda the suspension was temporary while the judiciary decided whether to review the case. “Implementing of the sentence, both prison verdict and lashes, has been suspended for now,” Sotoodeh said. “We hope that in the next two weeks during which the implementation has been postponed, there will be a reconsideration and she will be found not guilty.”

Via Women Living Under Muslim Laws________

 In my mailbox as of an hour and a half ago:

Dear friends, human rights defenders and colleagues–

Delaram Ali [photo above], Iranian women’s right defender has been sentenced to 2 years and six months in prison and 10 lashing.  This is one of the most outrageous acts of violating the basic human rights of Iranian women.  Delaram, will be lashed because she participated in a peaceful protest on June 12th 2006 in support of the campaign of One Million signature to change the discriminatory family laws in Iran.  She is sentenced to lashing because she objects to polygamy and demands the equal child custody rights for mothers and fathers, because she demands equal rights in divorce for women and because she demands that Iranian women be treated as an equal member of the society. 

Iranian women more than ever are relying on the global women’s movement to support their cause for democracy and human rights.  The women’s movement in Iran is the backbone of democracy movement in Iran.  This is the movement that currently paying  a high price for the crackdown of civil society by Islamic Republic of Iran and will be paying even a higher price in the case of a military attack against Iran.  Democracy can not been achieved without gender justice and peace.

Peace,

Elahe  

The photo below, Elahe says, which I included in my blog post of June 15,  shows Delaram being beaten in the protest for which she is now going to be lashed and imprisoned:

00280-07.jpg

In the demonstration depicted above last June, Delaram was dragged across the ground by police and suffered a broken arm.  The demonstration was entirely peaceful.

The Iranian women’s movement is seeking: 

•   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. 

I have blogged about the Iranian women’s movement here, here, here, here, here, and here.   Go here, to the One Million Signature Campaign to learn how to give your support.  These women are asking for, need, and deserve all the support we can give them.

I will post updates as I receive them.

Discussion

18 thoughts on “UPDATE on OUTRAGE: IRANIAN WOMEN’S RIGHTS DEFENDER, DELARAM ALI, SENTENCED TO LASHINGS, PRISON

  1. From my e-mail this morning:

    Dear Cheryl–

    It is Monday morning and I check my e-mails to find out another arrest of women right defenders. Thank you for all your support and encouragement. With your permission, I will send this to the Iranian Women and Delaram! This is the type of solidarity that they need to receive. Just this weekend, the brave Delaram wrote in an e-mail that ” she hope she be the last women who will be sentenced to prison ( of course and lashing ) for defending women’s right.”

    What a bravery!

    Much Love and peace,
    Elahe Amani

    Cheryl Seelhoff wrote:
    Elahe, I have blogged about this and will continue to do all I can to raise awareness of this ABSOLUTE OUTRAGE. As the news editor for the feminist news journal Off Our Backs, I will also make sure this outrage is covered in that publication. This is just unbelievable. My prayers are with all of you and especially Delaram Ali.

    We are standing with you. Please let us know what we can do to help.

    Here is the link to my blog post:

    https://womensspace.wordpress.com/2007/11/05/outrage-iranian-womens-rights-defender-sentenced-to-lashings-prison/

    Heart/Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff
    Women’s Space

    Posted by womensspace | November 5, 2007, 5:07 pm
  2. Would you mind if I took a bit of history from your earlier blog posts and merged them with this one to send out via e-mail?

    (I’d include links to both you and One Million signature campaign, of course.)

    I’d like to help get the word out, but I doubt very many people understand the backstory and you’ve done such a wonderful job covering it.

    Posted by Gayle | November 5, 2007, 10:21 pm
  3. Hey, Gayle, use my posts any way you want to get the word out, the same goes for everyone who reads here. These women want and need all the support we can give to them. I’m e-mailing with Elahe who is in touch with the Iranian feminists and she is going to keep me posted on how we can be of most help.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | November 5, 2007, 10:27 pm
  4. I will write to the usual people about this.

    This is what women face in the world, and we can all support our sisters world wide. Let’s see if we can even get Condoleeza Rice to focus on this and condemn it!

    Posted by Satsuma | November 5, 2007, 10:28 pm
  5. Thank you!!

    Posted by Gayle | November 5, 2007, 10:30 pm
  6. From Lady Sun’s blog post of today:

    I had never ever seen the government of Iran this much vulnerable and stupid. And of course I have never ever been this much disappointed in my life. Seriously, we are stuck in a rock and hard place. By we I’m talking about members of Iranian social movements. We have no place in this world. On one hand there is the threat of war and the US administration who is waiting like vultures to see discriminations in Iran to add to its alibis for attacking Iran (and yet add much more to the oppression of Iranian people). And on the other hand there is the dictatorship in Iran that is suffocating the activists and ordinary people. There is nowhere to refer to to seek help. There is no option that can help us get rid of this dictatorship peacefully. We are just stuck with this government forever. Any dissent is treated harshly. Students are imprisoned and tortured. Women’s rights activists are getting imprisoned. Bus drivers who strike for a raise in their salary end up with being beaten and imprisoned. I can go on and on. And yet there is no hope, no way, to get rid of this oppression…

    For the first time I’m happy that I’m not in Iran anymore. I seriously am! Of course whenever I see an American police car I shiver, because I know being an Iranian can be enough for being considered as a terrorist, but still I feel safer here. It certainly feels bitter that I feel safer in a country which is not my homeland, but that’s a reality that I should eventually swallow.

    Both Lady Sun and Elahe say Delaram is just the first of many more Iranian women activists who will be punished in this way.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | November 5, 2007, 11:16 pm
  7. What Lady Sun is saying is so important there. We don’t want the U.S. seizing on this as the justification to make war on Iran– that’s hardly going to improve the situation for women! That would be a terrible setback for the Iranian women’s movement.

    God, what a mess.

    Posted by womensspace | November 5, 2007, 11:18 pm
  8. This is horrible.

    Posted by profacero | November 6, 2007, 4:05 am
  9. Can she be escaped somehow??? I signed the petition but I have not figured out when this is to happen.

    Posted by profacero | November 6, 2007, 4:10 am
  10. Thanks dear Heart for spreading the word…

    Posted by Lady Sun | November 6, 2007, 4:55 am
  11. Lady Sun, you are so welcome. And thanks for your, as usual, superb coverage. I knew you’d be on it!

    Profacero, I read either on the Million Signatures site or I read in an e-mail that her lashing and prison term are imminent, as early as next week. I know the women’s movement in Iran is on it, hopefully Shirin Ebadi is consulting, who knows.

    The Middle East is such a tinder box, such a house of cards right now, in large part because of the Bush regime. Iran, Pakistan– so volatile. This women’s movement in Iran is so powerful, I want them to prevail, no men making war, silencing their voices, on top of this brutal regime silencing their voices.

    Posted by womensspace | November 6, 2007, 5:34 am
  12. Delaram Ali has a blog. While it is mostly in Persian, some of her curriculum vitae is in English:

    She is only 23 years old. She was born in Tehran.

    Work experienceSeptember 2005 to Present –

    Cultural Centre for Child Labour- Tehran Director of Social Work Unit

    As the Director of Social Work Unit I have been in charge of different consultations and also facilitating and training workshops for women and children potential for any social abuse. The details are as follows: ·

    Individual and Group Consultations: giving consultations to women and children potential for any social abuse and working on their rehabilitation. These consultations are in two forms of: private and in groups. It should be noted that the unit will interfere in the crisis if required. ·

    Training and facilitating workshops for women: the workshops which were targeting women who are affected by abuse or potential for it: life skills , violence against women , gender issues, sexual health and sexual behaviour·

    Training and facilitating workshops for Children : the workshops which were targeting children who are affected by any abuse or potential for it : life skills , Children Right Convention studies for Children

    September 2006 to Present – Inter-Disciplinary study institute (IDSI) –Tehran

    Project Director and Specialist

    IDSI is an inter-disciplinary study institute which is based on training and research. As an active member of the training unit I prepare proposals as well as analyzing the prepared proposals by others. Also I’m involved in evaluation of the workshops held by the institute. I am also in charge of facilitating some of the workshops held by IDSI. Currently I’m the project director of a workshop on Disaster Interdisciplinary Studies which is in the process of negotiations with OCHA. I have also undertook the tasks below at IDSI:·

    Member of the executive team and facilitator of a workshop on “ AIDS Inter Disciplinary Studies “ in cooperation with UNFPA ·

    Specialist of a workshop named “ Stop Violence’s Against Women “·

    Member of the executive team of a study course on “ Human Rights Anthropology” in accompany with Human Rights Section of UNESCO and Shahid Beheshty University

    June 2003 – September 2004 – International Blue Crescent (IBC) – Bam

    Rehabilitation Specialist

    The project that I was involved in was one of the numerous projects that IBC was conducting in Bam after the disastrous earth quake which occurred in January 2002. During the project our group was giving services to people in one of the poorest regions of Bam, by the help of the people themselves. These services included: giving public health services, establishment of a kindergarten and a working place for dressmakers.

    September 2003 – May 2004 – Iran Alzheimer Association – Tehran

    Social Worker

    As an intern I used to be in charge of giving consultations to the families of the members of Alzheimer Association. These consultations were taking place in private or in groups.

    September 2002 – May 2003 – Society for Protection of the Rights of Children (SPRC) – TehranSocial Worker for Shoush Project Giving private consultations as well as group works with children. The social work unit was also involved in giving services on health care support.

    July 2002 – October 2002 – Society for the Protection of the Socially Disadvantage Individuals (SPASDI) Organizer of SPASDI Photo Exhibition on “Social Disadvantages”

    World AIDS Day 2005 – TehranOrganizer of the first public gathering of 11 Iranian NGO’s in Tehran for the World AIDS Day. The gathering was targeting the knowledge sharing on HIV Aids. Additionally from the year 2002 I have been actively writing and giving social articles for different sites and papers such as Naqd-e Noe Magazine. Naqd-e Noe is one of front runner socio- economical & political magazines in Iran.

    Education

    September 2002 – February 2006

    Allameh Tabatabaie University – Department of Social Studies

    From the time I entered university I have been considered as an active student. Being involved in student movements as well as cooperating with different magazines published in Allameh University and Tehran University. Also being an organizer of seminars. It should be noted that my thesis was on “Civil Society’s Approach towards Child Labour” which obtained an A+. Besides the academic studies I have also participated in workshops and seminars which are as follows:
    January 2007 – Tehran Work shop: Training of the Trainers (TOT) – UNICEF January 2006 – Tehran Work shop: Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) – UNICEF October 2006 – Tunisia Seminar : Convention of the Children’s Rights after 15 years in the Middle East and North Africa: Perspective and Achievements

    Foreign languages

    Persian: mother tongue

    English: good (spoken and written)

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | November 6, 2007, 12:21 pm
  13. The Bush regime is not helping matters, for sure, but neither did it help matters that the Senate overwhelmingly approved a resolution declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, or that Democratic Presidential candidates made noise about attacking Pakistan. Hillary Clinton attacked Barack Obama for saying it would not be necessary to nuke Pakistan! It is not wise to take any option off the table, she says. That is, unless the option is impeaching Bush or Cheney!

    Posted by Aletha | November 7, 2007, 7:30 am
  14. Yes. As usual, the U.S. government aligns itself with violence and with the terrorists and brutalizers. As to Hillary Clinton, so true. So far as foreign policy, her views have never departed substantially from the views of those responsible for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Desert Storm, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand. It goes on and on.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | November 7, 2007, 11:57 am
  15. No matter what happens, we still have a weak House and Senate going along with Bush. We should have stopped the funding of the war — congress has that power, and I believe the people of the U.S. overwhelmingly feel the war is wrong and that they were conned by the creepy “information” the Bush administration puts out.

    Geez, not keeping nuclear weapons off the table — we shouldn’t even be saying that publically — any U.S. elected official.

    For what it’s worth 100% of our gay and lesbian theater group opposed the war the very day it started. We even had a man from United Arab Emirates and an Islamic section of the play, so it was all quite scary opening night.

    When there is no draft, you can really pull the wool over people’s eyes, because their children are not affected unless they volunteer.. I hated the draft in the first place, and now here we are stuck again!

    The bright side is that the Iranian feminist movement is very strong, and I have supported it since 1978. There are a lot of Iranian women here who are doing all they can to support it.

    Women in the most oppressed countries tend to be the strongest feminists in my opinion. We had the strongest collaboration between straight women and lesbians in Tokyo in our international feminist group, and we still support each other decades later.

    The international is inspirational, you have to find women’s voices overseas and listen. Remember, patriarchy doesn’t cover feminist revolutions anywhere. But they are always out there!

    Posted by Satsuma | November 7, 2007, 6:41 pm
  16. hi.delaram ali is our friend in the campaign of one million signature.we women iran next does not asks let we discrimination gender. please. with we campanion snuggle pro application law early women iranian to jail does not go.

    Posted by behnaz shekaryar | November 9, 2007, 3:29 am
  17. behnaz shekaryar, we are standing with you. I pray Delaram’s sentence is reversed and that she never has to go to prison and dear god, that she never is lashed. This is unthinkable.

    Profacero, that link is unspeakably horrifying. What the hell.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | November 16, 2007, 5:23 am

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