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Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

In February 2010, the authorities allowed Nazar Ahari a 30 second phone call to her family, during which she told them that she had been transferred to a "cage-like" solitary confinement cell that barely allowed her space in which to move her arms and legs freely." 160

During an interrogation session in Evin prison in January and February 2010, Parisa Kakaee, a colleague of Nazar Ahari in the CHRR, realized that Nazar Ahari would not be leaving Evin prison for a long time. Kakaee recalled:

Alavi [my interrogator] showed me Shiva's case file and I saw that "maximum punishment" was written on it. This doesn't mean execution necessarily, but it does mean that they want to imprison her for at least ten years.

The latest reports indicate that although Nazar Ahari has been informed of her formal charges, her trial that was scheduled to begin on May 23, 2010 was postponed, with no future date set." 162

Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh

Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh was one of three women's rights activists arrested on the bus headed to Montazeri's funeral on December 20, 2009. An interrogator who went by the name Alavi told her that he had seen her films-a reference to the taped interviews Abbasgholizadeh had conducted with Nazar Ahari and Sohrab Arabi's mother.163

Once Abbasgholizadeh and Nazar Ahari arrived at Evin Prison, they were separated and Abbasgholizadeh was interrogated all day. After her release that evening, Abbasgholizadeh's interrogators called and threatened her, so she took her SIM card out of her phone. At the end of December 2009, Abbasgholizadeh went into hiding at a friend's house to avoid another arrest. However, agents searched the home and took Abbasgholizadeh's laptop. Abbasgholizadeh knew she would face certain arrest should the authorities read the information on her laptop so she fled Iran before they discovered its contents:

I was just really tired. Tired of the harassment, tired of the oppression, tired of the antics of the Ministry of Intelligence. I wondered why I was staying in Iran-I could not even be active anymore, all us women activists had gone into hiding and could not meet as we once did. That is when I decided to leave." 164

She later learned that interrogators asked detainees about her and said that they knew her current whereabouts. They claimed that she is a member of the MEK, and that they would harm her if they found her. She does not believe she can safely return to Iran .165

[160] Afzayish-i Fishar bar Shiva Nazar Ahari va Intiqal-i U bih Silluli Shabih-i Qafas [Shiva Nazar Ahari Transferred to "Cage-Like" Solitary Confinement Cell], Committee of Human Rights Reporters, February 14, 2010, available at http://www.chrr.us/spip.php?article8435.
[161] IHRDC Interview with Parisa Kakaee (April 14, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).
[162] UPDATED: Iran: Imprisoned Activist Shiva Nazar Ahari to go on trial for ‘acts' against national security, Women Living Under Muslim Laws, May 26, 2010, available at http://www.wluml.org/node/6310.
[163] Abbasgholizadeh filmed a multi-part interview with Nazar Ahari in December 2009 about Nazar Ahari's time in prison following the June election. See Video File: Shiva Rises from the Crackdown, December 2009, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHOP-oF3iOk&feature=related. Abbasgholizadeh also interviewed Parvin Fahimi, the mother of slain post-election protester Sohrab Arabi, about her son's death. See Video File: Parvin Fahimi Still Asks, November 2009, available at http://www.youtube.com/user/jensedigar#p/u/8/s5vd2gOxZM0. IHRDC Interview with Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh (July 6, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).
[164] IHRDC Interview with Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh (July 6, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).
[165] Id.

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Tagged as:

Sexual Violence, Gender Rights, Death Penalty, Political Killings, Executions, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Travel Restrictions, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Illegal Search and Seizure, Free Speech, Right to Protest, Protests, Free Association, Child Rights, Political Freedom, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination