Monday, March 13, 2006

Arab human rights groups condemnd regime's aggression

Eighteen Arab and Egyptian human rights groups condemn the attack on Iranian womenand activists for celebrating Women's International Day

12 march 2006

Several Arab and Egyptian human rights organisations condemned today the use of violence by Iranian security forces to disperse a human rights gathering organised by independent women's groups and human rights organisations in Tehran in commemoration of International Women's Day on March 8th.

Some women's rights and human rights groups called for the gathering in the Student Park (Park Daneshjoo) in Tehran to commemorate International Women's Day, holding signs calling for stopping discrimination against women in Iran and calling for peace, justice, and democracy. However, security forces and the revolutionary guards in Iran, dressed in plain clothes, attacked them to disperse the gathering by force and several activists were arrested. This was in addition to preventing some foreign journalists and correspondents from covering the event by detaining some, confiscating their cameras, their films and photographs.

While the Iranian constitution allows for peaceful gatherings without a permit, Iranian security forces have been accustomed to violating and restricting this right, as was the case on International Women's Day in Tehran and in other Iranian cities.

The signatory organisations state that the use of force and teargas bombs to disperse a peaceful gathering of women holding banners calling for democracy and equality is disgraceful and inhumane. At the same time as women's rights activists have tried to continue their activities and practice their right to freedom of _expression, they have been confronted with more violence perpetrated by Iranian forces and an escalation in their detention.

It is worth noting that the Iranian family law stipulates clear discrimination against women in Iran, by which a women after marriage becomes totally subservient to the man. The Iranian law does not give women rights except inadequate custody rights. In addition, Iranian women suffer from sexual and domestic violence with no effective legislative protection.

The signatory organisations demand the Iranian authorities to immediately release all those detained on that day and to hold a judicial and just investigation of all those involved in the attack perpetrated against the activists, putting the perpetrators before a court of law. In addition, the signatory organisations demand the Iranian government to stop all activities against freedom of _expression.

The signatory organisations:

1. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo)-Cairo 2. Al-Nadim Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence-Cairo 3. The Cairoian Association Against Torture-Cairo 4. Rural Studies Centre-Cairo 5. The Hesham Mubarak Law Centre-Cairo 6. Maat Centre for Legal and Constitutional Studies-Cairo 7. The Cairoian Centre for the Right of the Child-Cairo 8. The Bahraini Child Association-Bahrain 9. The Iraqi Association for Human Rights 10. Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-violence Studies - Cairo 11. Organisation of Peace and Liberty - Germany 12. Arab Organisation for the Defence of _Expression and Press Freedom - Paris 13. The National Council for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in Syria - Syria 14. Habi Centre - Cairo 15. Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue - Cairo 16. Shehab Centre for Development - Cairo 17. Land Centre for Human Rights - Cairo 18. New Women's Foundation - Cairo


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