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Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

One night, the authorities called Saadat's parents, said they knew where Saadat was hiding, and instructed them to pass on the message that she should come in. Saadat, fed up with her transitory situation, did so. Interrogators taunted her and threatened her life. They knew she was the person who had delivered files to Karroubi about people who had been allegedly raped and killed in post-election detention. They threatened her life on account of that act, and made crude remarks and references to her activism. They accused her of sleeping with her male co-workers. One interrogator told her: "do you think we arrest prostitutes like you so you can turn into a national hero?"184

Plain clothes agents attacked Saadat on the street soon after her release. After the attack, Saadat managed to find a taxi to take her to her friend's house. The driver wanted to take her to hospital but she told him to forget he ever saw her. Her friend took one look at her bruised and bloodied body, and told her she could not stay in Iran if she wanted to survive. Saadat did not want to leave Iran but felt she had no choice. She had been fired from her job for her activism, been forced into hiding without her child, had no money, and was wanted by the authorities who were threatening her with prison or worse for her activism. She was smuggled across the Iran-Turkey border in December 2009." 185

Parisa Kakaee

Parisa Kakaee, a leading women's and children's rights activist, worked full-time for the CHRR during the summer of 2009. She focused on women's issues and children's issues. After the arrest of Kakaee's colleague and close personal friend, Shiva Nazar Ahari, immediately following the June election, Kakaee received several telephone calls from Nazar Ahari's interrogator, instructing her to come to the Tracking Office (Daftar-i Paygiri) of the Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran. She refused to go until she received a formal summons.186

In November 2009, Kakaee, along with other women activists including Aida Saadat and Jelve Javaheri, was formally summoned to the Revolutionary Court. Two men, one carrying a pistol, delivered the summons to her home. The summons instructed her to appear within three days. When she arrived at the Court, the court officer told her that she had been summoned for "women nonsense."187 She was instructed to go to the Tracking Office.

After Nazar Ahari was arrested again in December, intelligence agents called Kakaee and insisted that she shut down the CHRR website and cease her activities. When the group decided to not shut down the site, Kakaee received daily threatening phone calls over the next week from Nazar Ahari's interrogator who ordered her to comply or she would be arrested. The interrogator called her family home one early morning, spoke to her father, and demanded to speak to Kakaee. When the interrogator called her mobile phone later that morning, she asked why he was looking for her. He said he had been waiting outside her house to arrest her." 188

On Thursday, December 31, 2009, the interrogator ordered Kakaee and other CHRR members to report to the Tracking Office for interrogation. The next day, Kakaee reported voluntarily to the Tracking Office. She was taken into custody and transferred to Evin prison.189 At Evin, she was sent to Ward 209-the section where political prisoners are housed. Guards ordered her to strip naked and submit to an invasive, full body search. They then put her in a small, dirty and overcrowded cell in the women's section.

[184] Id.
[185] Id.
[186] IHRDC Interview with Parisa Kakaee (April 14, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).
[187] Id.
[188] Id.
[189] 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