World Congress

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We support AWID Statement on the Arbitrary Detention of Women's Human Rights Defender Shadi Sadr by Iranian Authorities


Our friend AWID - Association for Women's Rights in Development which awarded 3.000 USD to us to develop a case study proposal on effects of religious fundamentalism in Italy, urges to spread the following Statement on the Arbitrary Detention of Women's Human Rights Defender Shadi Sadr by Iranian Authorities The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), an international feminist membership organization with individual and institutional members in 165 countries around the world, is gravely concerned by the violent arrest of our colleague Shadi Sadr on the morning of Friday July 17th 2009. A lawyer and prominent women’s rights activist, Shadi Sadr was stopped on a busy Tehran street, beaten and dragged off in a car by plainclothes agents who produced no identification or warrant. No reason has yet been provided for her detention. Her lawyer has not been allowed to communicate with her, and efforts to post bail for her have so far been unsuccessful. Shadi Sadr is the founder of Zanan-e-Iran (Women in Iran), the first website highlighting the work of women's rights activists in the country, and the former director of the Raahi Legal Centre for women, which was shut down by Iranian authorities in 2007. She is also a key member of Meydaan (Women's Field), the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign, and the One Million Signatures Campaign, and has been actively involved in women’s rights networks including Women Living under Muslim Laws and AWID. Our concern over the unlawful abduction of Shadi Sadr is compounded by fears for her health, as she suffers from a serious glandular and bone condition that requires prescription medication, and for which she is due to undergo surgery in the coming week. Shadi Sadr’s clients are also being negatively impacted by the situation. The illegal detention has caused her to miss the court date of one client who is potentially facing the death penalty. Recognizing the central role of women’s human rights defenders in the building and strengthening of democracy around the world, AWID believes that all States must ensure that their rights are protected. We call upon AWID’s members and allies to take action and mobilize your networks in solidarity and support of Shadi Sadr and all those whose peaceful and non-violent dissent has rendered them subject to unjust persecution in Iran. Please contact local and international media, and write to policy makers and the Iranian mission in your country, as well as the Iranian authorities and the Iranian Bar. You can also write to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, and urge them to take action to protect basic human rights in Iran. Your letter can: * Call for the unconditional and immediate release of Shadi Sadr, as she is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for her human rights activities and the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression; * Ensure that she is allowed immediate access to her family, lawyer of her choice, and any medical treatment she may require, especially as she has a reported pre-existing medical condition; * Urge the Iranian authorities to ensure that Shadi Sadr and all other detainees are protected from all forms of torture or ill treatment; and * Call on the authorities to remove unlawful restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Iran and put an end to the repression of demonstrations against the current Iranian government and their stance on the recent elections. RECIPIENTS’ LIST: The Honorable Ban Ki-moon Secretary General 760 United Nations Plaza United Nations New York, NY 10017 Web contact: Ms. Navanethem Pillay UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Email: Fax: +41 22 917 9008 or +1 212 963 4097 Tel: +41 22 917 9000 Ms. Margaret Sekaggya Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders E-mail: The text of the e-mail should refer to the human rights defenders mandate. Fax: +41 22 917 9006 (Geneva, Switzerland) Tel: +41 22 917 1234 This is the number for the United Nations telephone operator in Geneva, Switzerland. Callers should ask to speak with staff at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights dealing with the special procedures of the Human Rights, and specifically with staff supporting the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders. Please see here for further details about filing complaints to the Special Rapporteur: Working Group on Arbitrary Detention c/o Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva CH-1211, Geneva 10 Switzerland Fax: +41 22 917 9006 See model questionnaire here: The Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women OHCHR-UNOG 8-14 Avenue de la Paix CH-1211, Geneva 10 Switzerland Fax: +41 22 917 9006 E-mail: Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei The Office of the Supreme Leader Islamic Republic Street, end of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Email: via website: (English) or (Persian) Salutation: Your Excellency Head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi Howzeh Riyasat-e-Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary) Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e-Jomhouri Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need Java Script enabled to view it (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi) Salutation: Your Excellency And copies to: Iranian Bar Association No. 3, Zagros St., Argentina Sq. Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Fax: +98 21 8771340 or +98 21 888 6425 / 26 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need Java Script enabled to view it or And the Iranian embassy in your country (NB: recommend telephoning and faxing before letter-writing)

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