Thursday, June 12, 2008

Open Support: Iranian Women's Rights

Support Iranian Women's Rights Activists on their National Day of Solidarity

Today marks the second anniversary of a protest held by women's rights activists in Iran. That demonstration was broken up violently by security forces and led to the arrest of 70 men and women. The activists then launched the One Million Signatures Campaign, an unprecedented grass-roots campaign to change gender discrimination in Iranian laws.

They chose June 12 as a national day of solidarity with their campaign, and planned to hold an event today commemorating the protests. However, their gathering was canceled due to threats and when a number of women arrived anyway, security forces blocked the doors. Eight women have reportedly been detained: Nafiseh Azad, Jila Baniyaghoub, Farideh Ghaeb, Jelveh Javaheri, Sarah Loghmani, Nahid Mirhaj, Aida Saadat, and Nasreen Sotoodeh.

Human Rights First has joined over forty international human rights organizations to express support for the defenders. On this anniversary, call on the Iranian government to cease its persecution of the activists, drop any charges against them, and to allow women's rights activists to engage in their rights of assembly and peaceful political expression.

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