January 11, 2010
Mission Free Iran
We write to you with an urgent request to encourage your members to join with Iranian activists on January 24 2010 for a global protest against the detention and execution of political prisoners in Iran.
Women’s rights activists in Iran have been increasingly targeted by the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Prior to the fraudulent 2009 elections, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) had documented increased repression of women’s rights activists in Iran (1), including arrest and detention of women active in the Million Signatures Campaign. Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for ICHRI stated in April of 2009 that “publicly expressing support for women’s rights has effectively been criminalized in Iran.”
In the wake of the June 2009 elections, repression of women has increased. Neda Agha Soltan was among the first to give her life in the post-election violence. More activists in the One Million Signatures Campaign have been arrested. The Mourning Mothers, who gather in Laleh Park to grieve the loss of their children to the regime’s violent repression of democratic postelection protests, have been arrested twice. As recently as January 9, 2010, security forces attacked and detained 30 of the Mourning Mothers, sending at least nine of them to the hospital. (2)
Nevertheless, it is well-recognized that Iranian women are fighting on the front lines of this battle for a democratic Iran. Iranian girls and women have suffered the greatest losses of their rights under the rule of the Islamic Republic, and they are first in line to demand the return of their rights.
It is time for women around the world to stand up in solidarity with the women of Iran, who rise fearlessly before the most violently repressive of regimes to demand their human rights. We therefore ask you to join us on January 24 in Toronto Canada, Gotland Sweden or Washington DC USA to protest the detention and execution of political prisoners in Iran, and to stand in solidarity with our Iranian sisters. They deserve to see the strength of our support for the battle they are fighting. It is a struggle that matters to all of us.
Toronto, Canada: 2-5pm, Mel Lasman Square
Gotland, Sweden: 2pm, Almedalen Park
Washington DC, USA: 12pm Freedom Plaza rally and march to the Lincoln Memorial
For more information, please see https://missionfreeiran.wordpress.com/take-action/stop-executions-in-iran/
(1) Two reports were produced by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: The Systematic Repression of the Women’s Rights Movement — May 2008 (http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2009/01/repression-women/) and Report on the Status of Women Human Rights Defenders – April 2009 (http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2009/04/whrdreport/)
(2) 30 Members of Mourning Mothers Detained. International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2010/01/iran-30-members-of-mourning-mothers-detained/)