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Support Iranian Women on their National Day of Solidarity

Tuesday 15 July 2008, by admin

Iranian women’s rights activists are calling for international support in observance of the June 12, 2006 demonstrations. Two years ago on this day, activists organized a peaceful protest demanding the revision of discriminatory laws against women in Iran. Seventy people were arrested during the gathering and continue to this day to be summoned, charged, arrested and sentenced for peaceful activism. June 12th has since been chosen by Iranian women’s rights activists as their national day of solidarity to object harmful actions which attempt to silence Iranian women.

Please read the following "Statement in Support of Iranian Women" and send your personal or organizational support for the women’s rights activists who are fighting for their basic human rights against all odds. Please send emails to [email protected] and [email protected]. For more information about the campaign efforts, please read below or visit the One Million Signatures website.

Statement In Support Of Iranian Women On The Anniversary Of 12 June 2006 Demonstration

We, the undersigned, representing international women’s and human rights organizations, express our solidarity with Iranian women, on 12 June 2008. This is the day identified by women’s rights activists in Iran as their national day of solidarity in objecting to laws that discriminate against women.

Four years ago, on this day, women’s rights activists organized an unprecedented protest in front of Tehran University, demanding that laws which discriminate against women be revised. They pledged to keep up their activities until their demands were met by authorities. On 12 June 2006, Iranian women’s rights activists took to the streets again and planned a similar protest in Haft-e Tir Square, in Tehran, with similar objectives and demands. The protest was violently broken up and over 70 persons arrested. This was the first major crackdown against peaceful women’s activism in Iran.

Since then, scores of women’s rights activists in Iran have been summoned, charged, arrested and sentenced in relation to their peaceful activism and their demands for equality. Last year, because of security pressures, women’s rights activists celebrated their day of solidarity in their private homes. But as witnessed in the continued summonses to court and persecution of activists involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, the security forces won’t even tolerate the convening of meetings by activists in their private homes.

On this day, we the undersigned thus want to express our solidarity with women’s rights activists in Iran and send them and their government the message that the international community is watching. We are watching closely their struggle for equality and admire their creativity, persistence and determination under difficult circumstances. We urge the Iranian government to stop its harassment of equal rights defenders, to drop all charges against activists who have peacefully advocated for the human rights of women, especially those involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, to allow women’s rights activists to use civil means to address their concerns about discriminatory Iranian laws, and to raise awareness about their concerns among the public.

Lastly, we urge the Iranian authorities to take concrete steps to bring laws governing the lives of women in line with international human rights standards, and in line with Iran’s own international commitments. We urge them to recognize that, while Iranian women have achieved a great deal socially, laws lag far behind the realities of women’s lives in Iran.

And in closing, we urge the Iranian government to allow women to celebrate their day of solidarity unimpeded.

Endorsed by:

 Action Now, Kenya
 AIDOS, Italy
 Aim for Human Rights, the Netherlands
 Amargi Woman Cooperative, Istanbul
 Amnesty International
 Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Thailand
 Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
 BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights, Nigeria
 Campaign for Peace and Democracy, New York
 Community Education and Development Services, Cameroon
 Collective for Research and Training on Development-Action, Lebanon
 Diakonia, Colombia
 Education Society of Malopolska, Nowy Sacz, Poland
 Feminists of Ankara Initiative
 Forum for Human Rights, Hyderabad, India
 Forum for the Empowerment of Women, South Africa
 Foundation for Women’s Solidarity, Ankara
 Front Line
 Fuerza de Mujeres Wayce: Wayuu Women Force, Colombia
 Human Rights Centre "Citizens Against Corruption", Kyrgyzstan
 Human Rights First
 Human Rights Watch
 IDP Women Association "Consent", Republic of Georgia
 Interdisciplinary Group for Human Rights, Colombia
 International Association of Women Ministers
 International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
 International Friends for Global Peace, Sri Lanka
 KAGÄ°DER, Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey
 Kaos GL Association, Ankara
 Komnas Perempuan, National Commission on Violence Against Women, Indonesia
 MULABI, Latino American Sapce Working on Sexualities and Rights, Colombia
 People Changing The World Partner’s Solidarity Network, Kyrgyzstan
 The Global Campaign Stop Killing and Stoning Women!
 The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)
 Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO)
 Women Against War, United States
 Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways, Turkey
 Women Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace (WLP)
 Women Living Under Muslim Law
 Women’s Resource Center, Sri Lanka
 WOREC, Nepal

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