For Immediate Release
Iran: Attacks Escalate Against Women’s Rights Activists
NEW YORK - The Iranian government is escalating its attacks against women activists, subjecting them to arbitrary detention, travel bans, and harassment, Human Rights Watch said today.
On October 26, 2008, security agents blocked Sussan Tahmasebi, a leader of the One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality, from boarding a plane and confiscated her passport, without charging her with any crime. At her home, they confiscated her computer and demanded that she report to court for interrogation. The government has prevented Tahmasebi from leaving the country for the past two years, but has never brought charges against her or provided a reason for her travel ban.
"Instead of seeking to silence women's rights advocates who draw attention to the urgent need for reform, the government should move to repeal Iran's discriminatory laws," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
Human Rights Watch said the Judiciary has prosecuted more than 100 women's rights activists over the past three years and continues to detain, intimidate, and prohibit from traveling a number of other women's rights activists, particularly those involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign for Equality. The grassroots campaign aims to raise awareness of Iranian laws that sanction discrimination against women, by collecting 1 million signatures throughout the country in an effort to repeal them.
THE LAST FIREWALL AGAINST THE LIES
Independent media has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support our critical Winter campaign now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing.