Womenís Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Public Statement; ACTION ALERT

CONTACT: press@wfafi.org†††

August 11, 2005


Status of Women with the Arrival of Iran's New President

BOSTON, MA- Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took office on Wednesday August 3, 2005. Since his arrival to the office Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) has received various reports on crackdown, arrests, public execution, and harassment of women in Iran.Iran's official media have reported that at least 18 people have been executed and seven others have been sentenced to death in the country since Ahmadinejad's election. While state-sponsored violence is spread and on the rise in various cities, WFAFI urges the rights advocates, women's groups and international NGO's to launch a campaign on the following cases:


August 2 - State Security Forces detained Dr. Roya Toloui, a Kurdish and women's rights activists for taking a part in peaceful protest in support of basic rights and freedoms in northwestern city of Sannandaj. The protest that took place on August 1st was in response to escalating conflict between Iran's new president and the Kurdish region.There has been mounting unrest and a number of demonstrations held in Iran's Kurdish region since July 10th. Eyewitness accounts and media reports indicate large numbers of troops backed by several helicopter gunship have been sent to quell protesters, resulting in more than 20 dead and hundreds of arrests thus far. Dr. Toloui is one of the founders of Association of Kurdish Women in Favor of Peace in Kurdistan. She has been very outspoken on the recent crackdown and was warned by the Iranian regime because of her interviews with foreign media and news outlets.


August 6 - Ahmadinejad's advisor, Hamid-Reza Taraghi, a central committee member of the Motalefeh Party, told a state-run news agency, "The circumstances for women to be ministers in the cabinet do not exist, but probably they can become deputies". "Until now, we have had several cases of trial and error, but our country is in a state where one cannot tolerate experimenting with new administrations", Taraghi said. While upholding Article 115 of Constitution that bans presidency for women, the fundamentalism regime is now publicly rejecting the role of women even at the ministerial level.


August 7 - Upholding Article 1117 of Constitution, Tehran's court barred a young woman from working after her estranged husband complained she was only allowed to be a housewife. "Although their marriage certificate defines the wife's profession as 'housewife', she left her husband two years ago and worked in a private company without his permission," the court ruled. When there is no clause in the marriage certificate allowing the wife to work outside, the husband can bar her, the verdict said.


August 10 - Tehran's fundamentalist Supreme Court issued a court order to execute a young woman, known by her first name as Fakhteh, in coming days. The hanging sentence was upheld since Fakhteh is accused of murdering a man in December 2001. Fakhteh who maintained her innocence throughout the proceedings and appealed the original verdict by judge Hemmatyar, faces no legal protection at this point. Fakhteh is said to be in her early 20's.



You can make a difference. Please take action today.


  1. Please write to Secretary of State and US Ambassador to the UN, usa@un.int urge them to take actions on these issues.
  2. Please write to Secretary General Kofi Annan to stop the execution of Fakhteh and press for unconditional release of Dr. Roya Toloui.
  3. Please submit the information through Violence Against Women form.

4.       Please write to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and urge them to issue a statement on the following cases and mobilize their network.





P.O. Box 15205

Boston, MA 02215

Tel: (617) 590-1665

Fax: (610) 862-9110