Friday, November 7, 2008

Dr. Shirin Ebadi: "The Entire Process of Esha Momeni's Arrest Has Been Illegal"

Pressure on women's rights activists has recently intensified and despite the inappropriate actions of the security officials, women's rights activists and their families are urged to remain silent and to refrain from publicizing the news. Change for Equality recently conducted an interview with Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a member of the Human Rights Defenders Foundation. Dr. Ebadi spoke about several of these issues and specifically about Esha Momeni's situation. She noted that Esha was arrested in an illegal manner and that the obtainment of her videotapes and other materials was against the criminal investigation regulations. Esha Momeni's attorny is Mr. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a colleague of Dr. Ebadi at the Center for the Defenders of Human Rights. Dr. Ebadi pointed out that Mr. Dadkhah has constantly made requests to the officials that he be allowed to visit his client, but he has been denied; he has not been permitted to see her case files either. Dr. Ebadi added "all of these procedures are illegal. The minute a person is in custody she should be allowed to have contact with her attorney."

You can read the complete translation of this interview here

The Italian government makes a formal complaint to Iran about the arrest of Esha Momeni

According to AKI, the Italian government has made a formal complaint to Iran about the arrest of Esha Momeni and called for her immediate release.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Franco Frattini, has instructed the Italian ambassador in Tehran to formally convey the government's concerns and express its strong expectations for a positive outcome. Frattini has also asked the head of his department to meet the Iranian envoy on Monday to discuss the issue and to receive a direct explanation for the reasons behind the Esha's arrest and the prospects for her release.

Leading Women and Human Rights Organizations Issue Statement in Support of Women’s Rights Defenders in Iran

Change for Equality:
Leading women and human rights organizations have issued a statement objecting to the recent increase in pressures on women’s rights activists involved in the One Million Signature Campaign. The letter is issued by: Human Rights First; International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific; Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights; International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH); Equality Now; Center for Global Women’s Leadership; Association for Women’s Rights in Development; Human Rights Watch; The Asia Pacific Forum on Women and Development (APWLD); International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran; Front Line – The International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders; Foundation for Women, Law and Rural Development (FORWARD); World Organization Against Torture (OMCT); and Women Living Under Muslim Laws – International Solidarity Network. The letter objects to the harrassment of women's rights activists and urges the Iranian government to respect their rights. It makes specific demands regarding Esha Momeni, Sussan Tahmasebi, Zeinab Peyghambarzadeh, and Parastoo Alahyaari.

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