Thursday, November 6, 2008

"To fight for the most basic of rights for womankind is admirable and awe-inspiring"

November 7, 2008 by laylatoot

The arrest of Esha Momeni comes shortly after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s insistence, during a visit to the United Nations, that Iranians were free to say what they wanted. While President Ahmedinejad postures unconvincingly on the issue of freedom of expression, Iran’s track record continues to leave much to be desired: in May 2007, US-Iranian academics Haleh Esfandiari and Kian Tajbakhsh, and California-based peace activist Ali Shakeri, were arrested and held for more than 100 days on suspicion of causing harm to national security. The most irksome aspect of accounts such as these, is the notion that campaigning for women’s right is somehow detrimental to national security. That Iran has so many intelligent, vociferous, and brave women and men willing to fight for the most basic of rights for womankind is admirable and awe-inspiring; far from locking them in the darkest corners of Evin, they should be celebrated for their tenacity.

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More Than 3000 Signed the Petition for the Immediate Release of Esha Momeni

More than three thousand people have so far signed the petition for the immediate release of Esha Momeni. The statement, addressed to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the head of Judiciary Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, asks for the release of Esha Momeni and urges that the officials:

1. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Esha Momeni;
2. Assure that while in detention she is granted immediate and regular access to her family, a lawyer of her choice, and any medical treatment necessary in light of her medical condition (kidney stones);
3. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Iran.

Esha Momeni has been kept in solitary confinement in the Evin prison since October 15th and has not been permitted to speak to her family or her lawyer yet. According to the Iranian Judiciary spokes person Esha Momeni is under investigation for "acting against national security", a charge that a few other women's rights activists have also received in current years.

To sign the petition click here

The Nobel Women’s Initiative is calling—with renewed urgency—for the end to the harassment and arrest of women human rights defenders in Iran.

In recent weeks, authorities in Iran have stepped-up their targeting of members of the One Million Signatures Campaign - including Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi.
Authorities arrested campaign member Esha Momeni on October 15, and she is still being held in detention. Momeni is a dual American-Iranian citizen who traveled to Iran to visit family and complete her Master’s research on the Iranian women’s movement. Also last month, Iranian officials prevented campaign member Sussan Tahmasebi from traveling and confiscated campaign materials from the home of Parastoo Alahyaari.