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A Report from Evin Prison

category international | gender and sexuality | other press author Monday November 26, 2007 16:50author by Dorothy Gale

Maryam Hosseinkhah wrote this article in Evin Prison. Maryam was arrested on November 17 in relation to her activities and writings in defense of equal rights for women. On the 18th, a very high bail order was issued in her case. Maryam couldnt meet it and she was committed to Evin Prison.

This is prison; the women's ward of Evin prison. This is not my first time here; not the first time I've come to Evin. The first time, I came here as a journalist. Alongside the warden, I walked from cell to cell to listen to the stories of women who were here on charges of addiction, prostitution and murder.
Maryam Hosseinkhah
Maryam Hosseinkhah

The second time I too was a prisoner. Just like everyone else in the ward. While I was in the general ward, thirty other women's rights activists were in solitary confinement. I was concerned and disoriented, lost between the uncertain fate of my friends and the misery of the inmates I used to write about. That day I was merely a guest who would soon be able to leave.

This time, the third time, however, everything is different. This time because of a $100,000 bail [which I can not afford], I'm just like one of them; one of the hundreds of women shut up inside the high walls of Evin with no-one to help them. The law doesn't protect them; neither do their families, nor does anyone else in the world.


Read updates about the case of Maryam and others currently in detention for their activities in support of the Campaign at:

http://www.we4change.info/english/spip.php?article152

forequality@gmail.com

Full text of this story at:

Related Link: http://www.payvand.com/news/07/nov/1238.html

Comments (8 of 8)

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author by pat cpublication date Fri Nov 30, 2007 18:09author address author phone

Campaigners for Equal Rights in Iran have rallied to support Maryam Hossienkhah. Full report at link.

We the activists, in support of legal equality, have taken steps, however small, to raise public awareness of the present discriminatory legal system. We have tried where possible to record by writing, whether in sites such as Change for Equality, Zanestan, Kanoone Zanan, and Meydaan, or in weblogs and newspapers, the experiences and pains of women in our society.

Therefore, the responsibility for the legality and transparency of the sites "Change for Equality" and "Zanestan" falls on the activists of this movement and each one of the signatories of the letter recognizes herself/himself as a member of the movement for equality. Each one of us, the defenders and activists of the movement for equality under the law, like Maryam Hossienkhah, are reporters of the pain and suffering of women in our country. We all write and we all protest the present legal discriminations. We reflect this pain and suffering through peaceful means in these sites, weblogs and newspapers such as "Change for Equality" and "Zanestan." Therefore we share responsibility with Maryam Hosseinkhah.

Related Link: http://www.payvand.com/news/07/nov/1255.html
author by Dorothy Galepublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:08author address author phone

Another campaigner for Equal Rights has been imprisoned.

Jelveh Javaheri, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, and a regular writer for the site of Change for Equality, was arrested earlier today, Saturday December 1, 2007, after an interrogation session at the security branch of the Revolutionary Courts.

This women’s rights activist, went to the security branch of the Revolutionary Courts, following a summons she received last week. She spent several hours in interrogation, after which she was charged with inciting of public opinion, propaganda against the state, and publication of false information, through reporting of false news on the site of the One Million Signatures Campaign, Change for Equality. Jelveh Javaheri has since been transferred to Evin Prison’s Public Ward 3.


Full text at

Jelveh Javaheri
Jelveh Javaheri

Related Link: http://www.we4change.info/english/spip.php?article180
author by Dorothy Galepublication date Wed Dec 05, 2007 14:20author address author phone

Amnesty International have also taken up this case.

Jelveh Javaheri, journalist and women’s rights defender, was arrested on 1 December 2007 at a branch of the Revolutionary Court in the capital, Tehran. She had been summoned to report to the Court for questioning. According to other women's rights defenders, she is accused of "disturbing public opinion", "propaganda against the system" and "publication of lies" in connection with articles posted on the Internet. She is believed to be held in Ward 3 of Evin
Prison in Tehran.

Amnesty International believes she is a prisoner of conscience, held solely on account of her peaceful activities in support of equal rights for women in Iran, and is calling for her immediate and unconditional release.

Jelveh Javaheri is an active member of the Campaign for Equality, which aims to collect one million signatures of Iranians for a petition demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iran. As well as serving on the Campaign's education committee, Jelveh Javaheri has written several articles for its website(http://www.we4change.info/). She has also written extensively on women’s issues for other websites.

Related Link: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE131402007?open&of=ENG-2MD
author by Dorothy Galepublication date Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:45author address author phone

Yet another example of how women are treated in Iran. Zahra was arrested for sitting with her fiance in a park. She then died in custody and the cops claim it was suicide.

Nothing about Zahra Baniyaghoub's life suggested she would have wanted to end it. With a flourishing career as a doctor and a stable relationship with a man she loved, she seemed to have everything to live for.

But when she died suddenly in the custody of Iran's morals and virtues police - an organisation empowered by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to enforce Islamic behavioural standards - officials reported it as suicide.

Now Baniyaghoub's family are insisting her death was suspicious and have engaged the country's most famous human rights lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel peace prize winner, in an effort to prove she was murdered.

Baniyaghoub's ordeal started on the morning of October 12 while sitting with her fiancé, Hamid Chitsaz, in a park in the western city of Hamedan. Officers arrested the couple because they were not legally related and not entitled to be alone together under Islamic law.


Full text here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,,2220465,00.html

author by Dorothy Galepublication date Thu Dec 13, 2007 14:09author address author phone

Amnesty International has issued an urgent appeal in the case of Jelve Javaheri, who was imprisoned on December 1, 2007, on charges related to her activities as a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and specifically with respect to her writings on the site of the site of the Campaign, Change for Equality. Jelve Javaheri is a well-known women’s rights activists and one of the founding members of the One Million Signatures Campaign. The statement by Amnesty International appears below.

IRAN Jelveh Javaheri (f), journalist and women’s rights defender

Jelveh Javaheri, journalist and women’s rights defender, was arrested on 1 December 2007 at a branch of the Revolutionary Court in the capital, Tehran. She had been summoned to report to the Court for questioning. According to other women’s rights defenders, she is accused of "disturbing public opinion", "propaganda against the system" and "publication of lies" in connection with articles posted on the Internet. She is believed to be held in Ward 3 of Evin Prison in Tehran.

Amnesty International believes she is a prisoner of conscience, held solely on account of her peaceful activities in support of equal rights for women in Iran, and is calling for her immediate and unconditional release.

Jelveh Javaheri is an active member of the Campaign for Equality, which aims to collect one million signatures of Iranians for a petition demanding an end to legal discrimination against women in Iran. As well as serving on the Campaign’s education committee, Jelveh Javaheri has written several articles for its website (http://www.we4change.info/). She has also written extensively on women’s issues for other websites.


author by Dorothy Galepublication date Mon Jan 07, 2008 16:20author address author phone

Jelveh and Maryam have been releasedon bail. Here is a statement from Reporters Without Borders.

“This is a relief,” the press freedom organisation said. “Hosseinkhah and Javaheri were imprisoned for no other reason than the views they expressed. They are innocent and we would like to think their release marks an end to the repression of women’s rights activists. The authorities have been waging an all-out policy to deter people from expressing themselves freely on the Internet. Around 30 cyber-dissidents have been arrested in the past year. We urge the authorities to drop the charges brought against them.”

Iran cracked down harder on the Internet in 2007. Reza Validazeh, 22, the editor of Baznegar, a website which for the past year has been publishing a daily review of Iranian blogs, was arrested on 27 November because of an article commenting ironically on the resources allocated to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s security.

Hosseinkhah and Javaheri right after their release
Hosseinkhah and Javaheri right after their release

Related Link: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=24933
author by without borderspublication date Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:09author address author phone


http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/01/08/iran17692.htm

montage from iran
montage from iran

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jan 21, 2008 15:02author address author phone

As well as the suspicious death of Zahra (covered above), HRW have also raised the case of Ebrahim Lotfallahi, 27, died in the detention center in Sanandaj. Full text at link.

Ebrahim Lotfallahi, 27, died in the detention center in Sanandaj sometime between January 9 and January 15. Zahra Bani-Ameri, a 27-year-old female physician, died in October while in custody in the town of Hamedan. In both cases, officials claimed the cause of death was suicide.

Iranian authorities should investigate the sudden deaths of two people while in custody in northwestern Iran, Human Rights Watch said today.

The sudden death in detention of two apparently healthy young people is extremely alarming. The government only heightens our concern by quickly dismissing them as suicides.

Joe Stork, Middle East deputy director at Human Rights Watch.


Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi is representing the Bani-Ameri family in their lawsuit against the officials responsible for her arrest and detention.

“These two young lives were extinguished in circumstances that make the official explanation implausible and cry out for accountability,” said Stork. “The Iranian authorities must take credible steps to determine what actually happened and hold accountable any officials responsible for these two deaths.”

Related Link: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/01/18/iran17819.htm

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