Ms. Gila Baniyaaghoub, Ms. Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh and Ms. Shadi Sadr are women rights activists who were arrested in Tehran on March 4th, 2007, along with 30 other women rights activists. However, the other 30 womens rights activists were released from prison between March 6th and 8th, 2007, while Baniyaaghoub, Abbasgholizadeh and Sadr remain detained and have started a hunger strike. There is increasing concern over Ms. Gila Baniyaaghoub’s deteriorating health. Currently the Observatory is not aware of the existence of any official charges against them.
On March 4th, 2007, 33 women rights activists were arrested while peacefully gathering in the front of the Tehran Revolutionary Court to mark International Women’s Day, to be celebrated on March 8th, 2007. They were also protesting against the trials of six women human rights defenders who are prosecuted in connection with their participation in a peaceful assembly in June 2006, and with their involvement in the “One million signatures” campaign.
The 33 women who were arrested include Ms. Assieh Amini; Ms. Gila Baniyaaghoub; Ms. Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh; Ms. Mahboubeh Hosseinzadeh; Ms. Sara Loghmani; Ms. Zara Amjadian; Ms. Maryam Hosseinkhah; Ms. Jelveh Javaheri; Ms. Niloufar Golkar; Ms. Parastou Dokouhi; Ms. Zeynab Peyghambarzadeh; Ms. Maryam Mirza; Ms. Saghar Laghai; Ms. Khadijeh Moghadam; Ms. Saghi Laghai; Ms. Nahid Keshavarz; Ms. Mahnaz Mohamadi; Ms. Nasrin Afzali; Ms. Talat Taghinia; Ms. Fakhri Shadfar; Ms. Maryam Shadfar; Ms. Elnaz Ansari; Ms. Fatemenh Govarai; Ms. Azadeh Frghani; Ms. Samiyeh Farid; Ms. Minou Mortazi and Ms. Sara Imanian.
Five of the six women currently prosecuted before the Tehran Revolutionary Court were amongst those arrested on March 4, 2007: Ms. Nahid Jafari; Ms. Sousan Tahmasebi; Ms. Parvin Ardalan; Ms. Noushin Ahmadi-Khorasani and Ms. Shahla Entesari. Ms. Fariba Davoudi-Mohajer is the sixth woman to be prosecuted in this case. One of their lawyers, Ms. Shadi Sadr had also been arrested.
Letter by Tina Parbhakar sent on March 12th, 2007.