Women’s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2006
Thousands rallied for women's rights in Iran
BOSTON, MA- On Monday, June 12, 2006, thousands took to the streets of Tehran to protest against the system of gender apartheid established since the 1979 Iranian revolution. People from all walks of life rallied in support of thedemands of Iranian women and their organized equality movement. The protest was sponsored by numerous women's organizations and banned political and resistance groups. Protesters chanted "women are human, but we don't have any rights", "our demand: freedom and equal rights", and "regime of misogyny must end".
While watchful of the heavy police presence, many women reached out to the foreign reporters to convey the objectives of the rally. On protester told the Associated Press "I don't care about the police charging at us with batons. I still attend any pro- human rights demonstration in the future".
About one hour after the rally began, the State Security Forces (SSF), including female security forces, moved in with batons and shields to beat and disperse the protesters. Eyewitnesses report that as the SSF clashed with protesters, women sat on the ground and began to chant songs with messages of equality. The BBC's Frances Harrison in Tehran said SSF massively outnumbered the protestors, almost immediately started beating the women. The viciousness of SSF's attack caused men who were passing by in the street to protest. According to reports from Iran, several female protesters were severely injured and taken to the hospital and hundreds have been detained and taken to unknown locations.
Mohammad Torang, the spokesman for the SSF inTehran, said all those arrested during the rally had been handed over to the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), regime's most notorious branch responsible for execution of political prisoners. Several hours ago, Justice Minister, Jamal Karimi-Rad, held a news conference at the notorious Evin prison to confirm that at least "42 of those arrested were women and 28 were men. They were charged with taking part in an illegal demonstration". Rally sponsors report that at least 400 people have been arrested since Monday.
According to reports from Iran, some of those arrested, 31 women and 4 men, have been transported to Eshrata Abad detention center in central Tehran. Some have been transported to the Revolution Guards' detention center in Tehran where the MOIS and SSF agents have continued their beating and torture to extract information about the organizers of the rally.
Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) has received a partial list of arrested women: Shalla Entesari, Parvin Ardalan, Firozeh Mozafari, Samira Sadri, Bahareh Hedayat, Atefeh Yosefi, Masomeh Loghmani, Delaram Aramfar, Delaram Ali, Noshin Ahmadi-Khorasani, Jila Bani-yaghob (Journalist), Taraneh Bani-yaghob, Maryam Khorasani, Shohreh Keshavar, Azam Elhami, Lili Faradpor, Zahra Hayat-ghaibi, Farideh Borhani, Pouran Falahi,Nasim Soltanbaigi, Samir Ameri, Samaneh Mohmmadirad, and Faranak Jvidan.
Also, many men have been arrested and among them are: Kaveh Mozafari, Foad Shams, Mostafa Bayat, Reza Mohsen-Nasab, Mehdi Seiami, Bahman Ahmadi-amoubi, Ali Roz-Bahani, Siamak Taheri, Vahid Mir-Jalili, Amin Ghateie, Mohammad Mosavi, Akbar Dadmanesh, Maysam Davari, Majid Bakhshi, Siamak Sameiyan, Amir Mohammad Bazr-Afshan, Mohsen Faramarzi, Shayan Khoshayen, and Mojtaba Nadermanesh.
WFAFI calls upon the United Nations, human rights and women's rights organizations to urgently intervene and demand immediate release of the arrested individuals. Many of the detainees are facing torture and inhumane treatment, therefore, WFAFI urges the UN Human Rights Council to assign a fact finding mission to visit the above mentioned detention centers and prison. The lives of those arrested are in danger and the world community must act in support of their human rights.
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