IRAN - URGENT Appeal against the detention of Women Activists
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IRAN - URGENT Appeal against the detention of Women Activists

    1. cate murray
    2. Petition by

      cate murray

      Langley Park, Durham, United Kingdom


Iran: Arbitrary detention of Ms. Maryam Bahreman and Ms. Mahbubeh Karami URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY

 IRN 003 / 0511 / OBS 077

Arbitrary detention / Judicial harassment


May 17, 2011

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Iran.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the arbitrary detention of Ms. Maryam Bahreman, a civil society activist involved in the defence of women rights, notably as a member of One Million Signatures Campaign[1] in Shiraz, and of Ms. Mahbubeh Karami, another member of the One Million Signatures Campaign.

According to the information received, on May 11, 2011, at 7.30 a.m., officers of the security forces from the Intelligence Ministry came to the house of Ms. Maryam Bahreman with a detention order. They reportedly arrested her on the charge of “action against national security”, and searched her house for three hours, confiscating some personal items including her cell phone, her laptop and some books.

At the time of writing, her whereabouts remains unknown.

Ms. Bahreman has been very active for women’s rights in Shiraz for many years. In particular, she was the General Secretary of Pars Women’s Association (Anjoman e Zanan Pars), which was closed in 2007.

The Observatory was also informed that on May 11, 2011, Ms. Mahbubeh Karami, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment by Branch 54 of the Appeal Court of Teheran in February 2011 on charges of "membership to human rights activists collective", "propaganda against the system" and "assembly and collusion with intent to commit crimes against the national security"[2], received a summons to present herself within three days at Evin prison to start serving her sentence. On May 15, 2011, she went to Evin prison, where she was immediately arrested and where she remains detained. She is suffering from acute depression and under high-dosage medication.

 The Observatory expresses its deepest concern about Ms. Maryam Bahreman and Ms. Mahbubeh Karami’s arbitrary detentions, which seem to merely aim at sanctioning their human rights activities amid the current general crackdown on the Iranian civil society, and calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release them, as well as all human rights defenders presently detained in the country.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Iranian authorities and ask them to:

i.         Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Maryam Bahreman and Ms. Mahbubeh Karami as well as all human rights defenders in Iran;

ii.       Disclose the whereabouts of Ms. Bahreman, and release Ms. Bahreman and Ms. Karami immediately and unconditionally since their detention is arbitrary as it only aims at sanctioning their human rights activities;

iii.      Drop all charges and put an end to any kind of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Ms. Maryam Bahreman and Ms. Mahbubeh Karami;

 iv.     Put an end to acts of harassment - including at the judicial level - against Ms. Maryam Bahreman and Ms. Mahbubeh Karami as well as against all human rights defenders in Iran;

v. Conform in any circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:

-       its article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;

-       its article 5.b, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels, (…) to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups”;

-       its article 6.b, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others (…) freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms;

-       its article 12.2 which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;


vi.     Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Iran.

 see also



·   Leader of the Islamic Republic, His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader, Shoahada Street, Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran, Faxes: + 98 21 649, + 98 21 649 / 21 774 2228, Email: / / /

·   President Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: + 98 21 649 5880.

·   Head of the Judiciary, His Excellency Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, Ministry of Justice, Park-e Shahr, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98 21 879 6671 / +98 21 3 311 6567, / /

·   Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Av, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Fax: +98-21-66743149, Email:

·   Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 7330203, Email:

·   Embassy of Iran in Brussels, 15 a avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 39 15. Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Iran in your respective countries.


Geneva-Paris, May 17, 2011

 Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.


The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.


To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

  • E-mail: 
  • Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
  • Tel and fax FID


Recent signatures


    1. Safir Ghafouri EXECUTED

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      Despite appeals - Safir Ghafouri was executed yesterday, confirmed via Amnesty 13/07/2012

    2. re Maryam Bahreman

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      there are reports received that she is currently released on bail,possibly awaiting trial, the facebook page continues to campaign for her freedom. we wish her well.

    3. news of more women Asal Esmaeilzadeh - Safieh(Maryam) Ghafouri -

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      detention/ execution -appeals for intervention - details passed onto Amnesty.please support/RT
      see also

    4. see Amnesty report/ MDE 13/071 / 2011

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer


    5. Mahboubeh Karami, in Poor Health in Evin Prison

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      Change for Equality: According to human rights sources, Iranian political prisoner, Mahboubeh Karami, is in poor health and is not able to endure incarceration any more...send prayers and make an appeal.

    6. Narges Mohammadi, Leading Iran Rights Activist Sentenced to 11 Years

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      Narges Mohammadi’s activities relate to human rights , which has angered security officials. Narges continued her activism with deep conviction but the court ignored her defence and sentenced her to 11 years’ imprisonment. It is an unnecessary sentence and is inconsistent not only with human rights provisions but also with Iran’s own laws.
      Amnesty International is calling for the sentence to be overturned. If imprisoned to serve this sentence, Narges Mohammadi will also be a prisoner of conscience.


      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commission Vice-President Catherine Ashton has called on Iran to release all political detainees.

    8. Somayeh Tohidloo receives 50 Lashes

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      These are the words Iranian blogger Somayeh Tohidloo wrote in her blog after receiving 50 whip lashes in Evin Prison on 14 Sep 2011

      Be happy, for if you wanted to humiliate me, I confess that I feel my entire body is suffering with degradation

    9. Amnesty Documentation on the detentions of Women activists in Iran

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      The documentation includes news on Mahboubeh Karami and Maryam Bahreman, both women continue to be detained despite appeals for their release. It is hoped a positive outcome can be secured for these and other women who remain in prison.

    10. Great news ..Nasrin Satoudeh has had her sentence reduced

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      Nasrin , a Human rights lawyer who defended protesters has had her prison sentence cut from 11 years to 6

    11. Appeal to UN Rapporteur to investigate the deaths of activists

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      ......the situation continues to be difficult - appeals are being made for international UN
      support to investigate/ condemn the deaths and detentions of activists.

    12. Reached 750 signatures
    13. Iran Rejects UN Rapporteur Visit / Repression inside Iran continues

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      There have been more arrests -most recently three journalists and a woman, online defender of the families of political prisoners.

    14. Missing Iranian Photojournalist Maryam Majd Arrested

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      The situation regarding detentions is ongoing, more arrests are made.
      Internal Iranian politics appear charged and complex. The petition aims to
      keep the plight of the detainees on the international human rights agenda.
      We extend concern.

    15. IRAN -reportedly refusing to acknowledge new UN Special Rapporteur

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      Media scuffle surrounding the legitimacy of the UN Special Rapporteur as IRAN
      welcomes the former Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmed Shaheed as a 'tourist'./Human Rights investigations and reports will continue regardless.

    16. Women arrested on May 11, 2011, remain detained incommunicado

      cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      The crackdown on activism continues with the arrest of Ms. Mansoureh Behkish, an Iranian human rights activist fighting against the execution of prisoners, and a member "Mourning Mothers". She is being held at Evin Prison,Tehran (June 12, 2011)

    17. cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      Iranian women speak out against sexual threats

    18. cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      URGENT REQUEST by AMNESTY for intervention in the case of Maryam Bahreman

    19. cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      Letters by another detainee Nasrin Sotoudeh ( Winner of the April 2011 Freedom to Write PEN award, attorney and legal advocate) have been released by the Feminist School Iran.


      Nasrin Sotoudeh is also detained at Evin prison in Tehran. Her letters, meant for her three year old son, Nima, and her eleven year old daughter, Mehraveh, are short messages written on the only paper she has been allowed to obtain while in prison, tissue paper.

      On charges of actions that were determined by the government to be “against national security,” Sotoudeh was put on a delayed trial in Iran court branch 26 of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) Revolutionary Court on January 9, 2011. In court proceedings she was barred from practicing law in Iran and restricted from leaving the country for twenty years. Her sentence of eleven years imprisonment has been viewed as a measure to stop legal advocates from continuing to work to represent human rights defenders in Iran.

      “These charges stem solely from her work as a human rights lawyer. She is a prisoner of conscience who should be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Amnesty International during a special campaign asking for the release of political prisoners.

    20. Reached 500 signatures
    21. cate murray
      Petition Organizer

      Maryam Bahreman and Mahbubeh Karami are only two of the many detainees in Iranian prisons, there is a call for a day of action on June 20 by Iranian protest supporters-
      urging the release of all political prisoners. The Iranian authorities do not have to wait - the detention of women like Maryam and Mahbubeh only fuels antagonism and unrest. The calls for reform are urgent and stern repression alienates the Iranian government further from the wider international community . I hope that peaceful diplomatic solutions can be found to heal the internal political divisions and move Iran forward as a progressive modern state.

    22. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • parviz azadian LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 1 year ago

      cos they had more effort for their real rights

    • Tihomir Mandic CACAK, SERBIA
      • almost 2 years ago


    • Ashfaque Qureshi SUKKUR-SINDH, PAKISTAN
      • almost 2 years ago

      release them

    • Deborah coverley BENFLEET, UNITED KINGDOM
      • almost 2 years ago

      I'm female. Why should my sisters be treated like this, when I am free?

    • leila habibzadeh KARAJ, AZ
      • about 2 years ago

      i love


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