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13 May 2008


On occasion of a peaceful meeting to celebrate the National Day of Solidarity of Iranian Women in objection to discriminatory laws against women in Iran


Nasrin Sotoodeh,

a women's rights lawyer

and  eight other  women's rights defenders


outside the Rahe Abrisham Gallery in Tehran,


Source    Change for Equality: June 13, 2008 and Frontline





In the early hours of Friday June 13th, nine women’s rights activists who had been arrested outside Rahe Abrisham Gallery where a planned seminar marking the anniversary of women’s day of solidarity was canceled by security forces. The nine women were:   Aida Saadat, an online journalist for Etemad and Change for Equality; Nasrin Sotoode, a women's rights lawyer; Jelve Javaheri, an online journalist for the Change for Equality website; Jilla Baniyagoub, an online journalist with Sarmayeh and the Canon Zeman Irani; Sarah Loghmani and Farideh Ghaeb, both online journalists for Canon Zeman Irani; Alieh Motalbezadeh, a journalist and photographer; and women's rights defenders, Nahid Mirhaj and Nafiseh Azad, were meeting to celebrate the National Day of Solidarity of Iranian Women in objection to discriminatory laws against women in Iran and to review the achievements of the women's rights movement through similar meetings over previous years.

. In honor of the national day of solidarity of Iranian women in objecting to discriminatory laws, June 12, women’s rights activists had planned a seminar to review the achievements of the women’s movements as well as the protests held on this day in previous years, on publicizing and popularizing the women’s rights demands. But when organizers arrived at the scene they found the doors of the seminar hall closed and were informed that the seminar had been canceled by security forces, who were at the scene in large numbers. Some organizers stayed behind so that they could inform participants about these developments as they arrived to take part in the seminar. But two of them were arrested while remaining in front of the seminar hall to inform participants and 7 others were arrested within the next few hours. Those arrested were taken to Vozara detention, and released around 1:00 am on Friday morning (about 8 hours after their initial arrest), with a third party guarantee. These women have to follow up to see if any charges will be brought against them. The following year, on the The following are pictures taken in front of the Seminar Hall and at the time of the release of these nine women.

 Further Information

Posted 17/06/2008 On 12 June 2008, Aida Saadat, Nasrin Sotoode, Jelve Javaheri, Jilla Baniyagoub, Sarah Loghmani, Farideh Ghaeb, Alieh Motalbezadeh, Nahid Mirhaj and Nafiseh Azad were arrested outside the Rahe Abrisham Gallery in Tehran where they had planned to hold a seminar for between 100 and 150 people on the women's rights movement in Iran. The gallery was closed when they arrived and they were met by security forces who had cancelled the seminar. Aida Saadat and Nahid Mirhaj remained outside the gallery to inform participants but were arrested by security police at approximately 3.00pm. When Nasrin Sotoode and Jilla Baniyaghoub enquired about the arrests of Aida Saadat and Nahid Mirhaj, they too were arrested. Nafisah Azad, Jelve Javaheri, Sarah Loghmani, Farideh Ghaeb and Alieh Motalbezadeh were arrested soon afterwards. They were all detained at the Vozara Detention Centre. They were released at approximately 1.00am and are currently waiting to hear whether charges are to be brought against them.

On the same day, the police reportedly went to the home of Change for Equality editor Parvin Ardalan, but she was not there and they were unable to arrest her. On 2 May 2008, Parvin Ardalan received a suspended sentence of two years' imprisonment and ten lashings for a period of three years on charges of “illegal gathering and collusion and refusal to obey the orders of the police with the intent of endangering national security”. If she is found guilty of any other crime during the term of her suspended sentence she will be imprisoned and receive the ten lashings. The charges against her are related to her organisation of a peaceful protest against discrimination against women in Hafte Tir Square on 12 June 2006.

The National Day of Solidarity of Iranian Women is an annual celebration for women's rights defenders in Iran. On 12 June 2006, peaceful protests in Hafte Tir Square, Tehran, against discriminatory laws in Iran were broken up violently by police and security personal. Over seventy arrests were made and fourteen women's rights defenders were sentenced in relation to the event. On 12 June 2007, many women's rights defenders celebrated the National Day of Solidarity of Iranian Women privately in their homes. However, security forces reportedly attempted to prevent even private meetings held in defence of women's rights despite the fact that the Iranian Constitution recognises freedom of assembly and grants the right to peaceful demonstrations.





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