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Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

while in detention.213 Karami's court hearing was scheduled for Monday, June 28, 2010 in the 26th Branch of the Revolutionary Court-120 days after her arrest, but was again postponed." 214

Hengameh Shahidi, a women's rights activist and journalist, and a member of the Etemad-e Melli Party, was arrested on June 30, 2009 in Heravi Square in Tehran. She was taken to Ward 209 of Evin prison and interrogated. Her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, reported that her case file did not contain an arrest warrant but did include a copy of the letter written by Saeed Mortazavi, then-Prosecutor General.215 Shahidi was initially charged with "participating in illegal gatherings and post election street riots."" 216

She was released on November 1, 2010 on 90 million tomans (roughly USD $90,000) bail. On November 15, 2009, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court met for the final time and decreed that her charges included "conspiring and gathering with the aim of acting against national security through participating in riots," "propaganda activity against the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran through an interview with the ‘anti-revolutionary' network of BBC," "signing of the statements that are intended to propagate against the Islamic Republic of Iran's regime such as One Million Signature Campaign, Stop Stoning Forever Campaign," and "insulting the president for doing his job." The Court sentenced her to six years, three months and one day imprisonment.217

On February 24, the appeals court modified her sentence to six years and a fifty thousand tomans (roughly USD $50) fine. The next day, agents arrested her when she reported to the Ministry of Intelligence's Tracking Office and transferred her to Evin prison.218

Even non-members of the Campaign were at risk of arrest for their activities. According to one woman who helped collect signatures for the Campaign:

I was interrogated for my cultural activities. During the interrogations they asked about each and every one of my activities and those of my family members. The interrogators repeatedly questioned me about my affiliation with the One Million Signatures Campaign and my relations to friends who were social or political activists or journalists. This was while my activities with the Campaign were very minimal and basically revolved around collecting signatures." 219

3.4 Arrests of Members of the Mourning Mothers

As reports of killings and disappearances of young protestors came to light, women's rights activists became increasingly concerned about the lack of information being provided to the mothers of the slain and disappeared. In response, they met with some of the mothers and put together a group that became known as the Mourning Mothers.220

[213] Mahboubeh Karami's Court Will be Held on June 28th, Change for Equality, June 20, 2010, available at http://www.we-change.org/english/spip.php?article719; Vaz'iyat-i Nigaran Kunandihyih Fa'al-i Huquq-i Zanan dar Band-i 209 Evin [Worrisome Conditions of Women Rights Activist at Ward 209 of Evin], Ettelaat.net, April 10, 2010, available at http://ettelaat.net/10-april/news.asp?id=46291.
[214] Mahboubeh Karami Denied Bail Despite Poor Health, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, July 12, 2010, available at http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/07/mahboubeh-karami-denied-bail-despite-poor-health/.
[215] See supra note 119.
[216] Qissihyih Pur Qussihyih Parvandihyih Hengameh Shahidi [The Sorrowful Tale of the Case of Hengameh Shahidi], RAHANA, April 9, 2010, available at http://www.rhairan.in/archives/9040.
[217] Id.
[218] Ijrayih Hukm-i Hengameh Shahidi Bah Ta'id-i Dadgah-i Tajdid-i Nazar [Execution of the Verdict of Hengameh Shahidi with the Approval of the Appeal Court], RAHANA, Feb. 27, 2010, available at http://www.rhairan.in/archives/5331.
[219] See IHRDC Witness Statement of Farideh (April 19, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).
[220] IHRDC Interview with Aida Saadat (April 15, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).

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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