Home | English | Publications | Reports | Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

Mansoureh Behkish, a member of the Mothers for Peace and the Mourning Mothers, was prevented from traveling to Italy to visit her children on March 17, 2010. The passport agents confiscated her passport and the plane departed after removing her luggage from the plane. She demanded an explanation and filed a written complaint with the Security Branch of the Revolutionary Court. She had been arrested twice during the prior months because of having participated in the Mournful Mothers' gathering at Laleh Park in Tehran.267

4. Violations of International and Iranian Law

The Iranian authorities' targeting of women's rights activists based on their beliefs, membership in organizations, participation in demonstrations, and other advocacy violated their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association that are protected under Iranian and international law. The authorities' denial of fundamental due process rights of arrestees and detainees, and mistreatment and torture of detainees also violated Iranian and international law. Lastly, Iranian authorities unlawfully harassed activists in an effort to silence them through invasions of privacy, threats, and restrictions on their freedom of movement and employment.

4.1 Violation of Fundamental Freedoms of Expression, Assembly and Association

The Iranian Constitution protects freedom of expression under Article 24," 268 freedom of assembly under Article 27,269 and freedom of association under Article 26.270 Article 9 provides that

no authority has the right to abrogate legitimate freedoms, not even by enacting laws and regulations for that purpose, under the pretext of preserving the independence and territorial integrity of the country." 271

The founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, promised before its creation that "in an Islamic government, all people have freedom to express any opinion."272

[267] See Tara Sepehri Far Azad Shud / Mamnu'ul Mulaqat Shudan-i Mahdiyeh Golrou / Mansoureh Behkish Mamnu'ul Khuruj Shud [Tara Sepehri Was Released / Mahdiyeh Golrou Was Denied Visitation Rights / Mansoureh Behkish Was Exit Banned], The Feminist School, March 17, 2010, available at http://feministschool.net/spip.php?article4491. See also Mamnu'ul Khuruj Shudan-i Mansoureh Behkish [Mansoureh Behkish Was Travel Banned], RAHANA, March 18, 2010, available at http://www.rhairan.in/archives/7610.
[268] Article 24 states: "Publications and the press have freedom of expression except when it is detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public." Qanun-i Assasiyih Jumhuriyih Islamiyih Iran [Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran] 1358 [adopted 1979, amended 1989] art. 24 [hereinafter Iranian Const.], available at http://iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/iraniancodes.htm. See also Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Ctrl+Alt+Delete: Iran 's Response to the Internet available at http://iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/reports.htm.
[269] Article 27 states that "Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam." Iranian Const. supra note 268, art. 27.
[270] Article 26 states: "The formation of parties, societies, political or professional associations, as well as religious societies, whether Islamic or pertaining to one of the recognized religious minorities, is permitted provided they do not violate the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the Islamic Republic. No one may be prevented from participating in the aforementioned groups, or be compelled to participate in them." Iranian Const. supra note 268, art. 26.
[271] Article 9 the Iranian Constitution encourages Iranian citizens to broadly and actively participate in society and thereby guarantee the rejection of "tyranny" and "economic monopoly." Iranian Const. supra note 268, art. 9.
[272] Ruhollah Khomeini, Sahifihyih Nur [Vessel of Light], Vol. 3 (1983). See "Interview of Imam Khomeini with representative of Amnesty International," 20/08/1375 [11/10/1978].

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 »
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

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