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

Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by Iran in 1975, similarly protects the rights of expression, assembly and association in articles 19," 273 21,274 and 22." 275 Arrests for exercising these fundamental human rights have been declared arbitrary even in the face of legitimate security concerns.276 This protection is considered even more important when applied to human rights defenders," 277 particularly women's rights defenders:

It is obvious that women defenders are more at risk of suffering certain forms of violence and that they are targeted by various parts of the social and political establishment with forms of prejudice, exclusion and repudiation, in particular when they work in the area of women's rights. This can be particularly acute when women defenders are perceived as challenging cultural norms and social constructs related to gender, femininity and sexuality." 278

The Iranian government violated these fundamental human rights of women's rights activists when it systematically harassed, arbitrarily arrested, interrogated, imprisoned, mistreated and tortured them with the stated goal of dismantling the women's rights movement. Interrogators made it clear that they considered any criticism of Iran 's regime and its laws to be creating instability that justified harassment, arrest, and detention. Since its founding, members of the One Million Signatures Campaign were denied the right to freely assemble." 279

[273] ICCPR Article 19 in relevant part states:
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 19, March 23, 1976, 999 U.N.T.S. 171 [hereinafter ICCPR] available at http://iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/aadel.htm. [274] ICCPR Article 21 guarantees the right to peaceful assembly and states:
"The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others." ICCPR supra note 273, art. 21.
[275] ICCPR Article 22 of the ICCPR guarantees the right of freedom of association and states in relevant part:
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
ICCPR supra note 273, art. 22.
[276] For example, in 1991, Murat Demir and Bedii Yaracii were arrested by Turkish authorities for belonging to Devrimci-Sol (a radical Marxist-Leninst political opposition group tied to the assassination of several Turkish Military Officers). The Turkish government claimed that Demir and Yaracii violated the Turkish Act on Terrorist Activities, which "includes criminal offenses consisting of expressions of opinion."[276] Despite the fact that Devrimci-Sol is a designated foreign terrorist organization the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) determined that Demir and Yaracii were arbitrarily arrested for exercising "the right to express their opinions freely and the right to be associated for political purposes." U.N. Econ. & Soc. Council [ECOSOC], Sub-Comm. on Human Rights, Working Group On Arbitrary Detention, Decision No. 43/1992 (Turkey), U.N.E/CN.4/1994/27 (Dec. 17, 1993) at 25, available at http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=E/CN.4/1994/27.
[277] "In the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the promotion and protection of human rights as referred to in the present Declaration, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to benefit from an effective remedy and to be protected in the event of the violation of those rights." Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, G.A. Res. 53/144, U.N. Doc. A/RES/53/144 (1999). available at http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/RES/53/144. [278] Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, ¶ 36, U.N. Doc. A/63/288 (2008). available at http://www.un.org/Docs/journal/asp/ws.asp?m=A/63/288.
[279] See supra note 70 and accompanying text.

« 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