Tuesday, November 11, 2008

CNN's report on Esha Momeni's release

In an interview with CNN, Elise Auerbach, the Iran specialist for Amnesty International USA, commented on a recent news on Esha Momeni's charge.

According to CNN, Auerbach stated that "Tehran's deputy general prosecutor, Hasan Hadad, has 'deliberately leaked' to the state-run media his intentions to charge Momeni with propaganda against the state". The Iranian judiciary has not commented on Momeni's release. "A lot of people have faced that charge," Auerbach said. "It's kind of a vague, loosely worded charge that's kind of convenient. They can use it against whomever they want basically." Auerbach said Momeni is not the only woman involved with Change for Equality who has been jailed recently; at least three women who worked with the group are being detained, she said. As of Tuesday morning, the Iranian government had not returned Momeni's passport and travel papers, Auerbach said.

According to this report, Hadi Ghaemi, coordinator for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, said he believes Tehran wants to stifle the women's rights movement, and Momeni's arrest was meant to intimidate like-minded scholars or activists. "We see here detention as a method of pressuring that movement on a broader scale," he said. "The government would very much like to quiet these women."

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