Nov 20, 2007

Iran: Women's Rights Activist Arrested

As part of a wider crackdown on all forms of dissent, Iranian authorities have arrested a prominant journalist and women's rights activist.

The Hague, 20 November 2007 - UNPO supports Leadership Council for Human Rights’ condemnation of the arrest of Human Rights activist Maryam Hosseinkhah and is disturbed to learn of this most recent attack against free speech. Under the guise of ‘national security’, authorities in Iran continue to crack down on those that criticise the regime and speak out for the oppressed, including women, and linguistic and religious minorities. UNPO fully supports efforts by individuals and organisations around the world to fight for the rights of women in Iran.


Below is a press release issued by the Leadership Council for Human Rights:


November 19, 2007


Leadership Council Condemns Arrest of Iranian Women's Rights Activist


The Leadership Council for Human Rights joins the international human rights community in condemning the arrest of women's rights activist and journalist Maryam Hosseinkhah in Tehran on Sunday. Hosseinkhah, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, was charged with "acting against Iran's national security" and publishing false information on the Women's Cultural Center and One Million Signatures Campaign websites.  Furthermore, she refused to name her colleagues after an order from the Tehran revolutionary court.


Iran has been cracking down on women rights activists with at least two fellow One Million Signatures Campaign members arrested since September. The country is also one of the most repressive when it comes to the internet, with 10 million "immoral" websites filtered.


LCHR President Kathryn Cameron Porter denounced the recent arrest, saying "Women around the world must link arms and show solidarity for those struggling to gain their freedom and rights in Iran .  We call on the international community and the U.S. government to pressure Iran to free these daring activists."


"We are dismayed by this arrest. Maryam Hosseinkhah has already been arrested on the 3rd March 2007", the Worldwide Press Freedom organization said. "These women are simply asking for the same rights as men and there is nothing dangerous about them. The crackdown against these brave women shows the importance of the Internet in the country to the feminist struggle."


For the press release from Reporters Without Borders, click here


To read Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's report, click here