April 11, 2006

UNPO on Unlawful Arrest and Detention of Ahwazi women

The Hague, 11 April 2006-

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is deeply concerned about the recent arrest and detention of four Ahwazi women with their children, being held in Iranian custody. They are feared to be prisoners of conscience, due to their family relation with Ahwazi political activists. UNPO has appealed to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran; His Excellency, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei Leader of the Islamic Republic; Ayatollah Shahroudi, Head of the Judiciary; and to European and UN human rights bodies.

Background

On 27 February 2006, Mrs. Sakina Naisi (40) was arrested and put in Sepidar Prison. She was three months pregnant at the time of arrest. Her treatment and possible torture eventually led to a forced abortion. On 8 March 2006, Mrs. Masouma Kaabi (28) and her son Aimad (4) were arrested and imprisoned in Sepidar. On 31 March 2006, Mrs. Hoda Hawashem (24) with her sons Ahmed (4) and Osameh (2) were arrested and are being held at an unknown location. Furthermore, Mrs. Soghra Khudayrawi with her son Zeidan (4) were arrested on an unknown date, and are also being held in Sepidar prison.

By holding these Ahwazi children in custody Iran, as a ratifying state to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is breaching both Article 19 and Article 37 of the said convention. Additionally, the imprisonment of the wives and children of political activists without charge is a breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including Articles 3, 5, 9, 10, 18 and 19.

UNPO has called upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of these women and children; to ensure their safety, that they are free from torture and ill-treatment whilst in detention as well as being given immediate access to lawyers of their own choosing; and urged Iran to adhere to its obligations in accordance with international Human Rights Standards.

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