Iran: crackdown on Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rightss rights as journalist and activist arrested

Amnesty International today (21 November) issued an urgent appeal for Maryam Hosseinkhah, a journalist and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's rights defender, who was arrested on 18 November in Iran. She has reportedly been accused of "disturbing public opinion", "propaganda against the system" and "publication of lies" in connection with articles posted on websites she edits.

Amnesty International believes she is a prisoner of conscience, held solely on account of her peaceful activities in support of equal rights for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Iran, and is calling for her immediate and unconditional release.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Iran must be able to stand up peacefully and demand their rights – and Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights everywhere should stand beside them.

”Maryam should be released immediately."

Maryam Hosseinkhah is an active member of the Campaign for Equality, which aims to collect a million signatures in support of an end to legislation which discriminates against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, and is one of the editors of the campaign's website ( http://www.we4change.info/ ). She is also a member of the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's Cultural Centre, a Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's organisation founded in 2001 to promote Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's rights in Iran. Several days before her summons, the website of the WCC was shut down on the orders of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the Judiciary.

On 17 November, Maryam Hosseinkhah was called in to a branch of the Revolutionary Courts, which deals with cases involving security-related issues, for interrogation about her work in defence of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights's rights. She was questioned for over two hours and was told to report for further interrogation the next day. On her arrival at the court on 18 November, an arrest warrant was issued, and she was detained and transferred to Tehran's Evin Prison.

Pictures of Maryam Hosseinkhah are available from the Amnesty press office.

Background

Repression of activists associated with the Campaign for Equality and of other members of Iranian civil society has intensified in recent weeks. In September, at least 25 people were arrested during an educational workshop held by the Campaign in Western Iran. Most were released later that night, after being questioned, but Reza Dolatshah, Bahman Azadi, and Khosrow Nasimpour, were released the following day, having been beaten in custody. Two Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, Ronak Safarzadeh and Hana Abdi, are currently detained in the city of Sanandaj, Kordestan province, and have not been permitted access to families or lawyers. Dr Sohrab Razzaghi, the Director of the Iranian Civil Society Organisations Training and Research Center (ICTRC) has been detained since 24 October, apparently for interrogation about the activities of his organisation, including the financial assistance it receives from international donors, like the Dutch non-governmental organisation Hivos.

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