Thirty-four of our colleagues and partners in the Iranian women's movement were arrested on Sunday, March 4 outside of Tehran's Revolutionary Court.They were staging a peaceful protest against the increasing government pressure on civil society activists and, in particular, the trial of five women activists charged with "endangering national security, agitating against the government, and taking part in illegal gatherings" because they had organized a peaceful protest for women's rights on June 12, 2006. Four of them who were present at the trial were arrested with the demonstrators as they were leaving the court.
There are varying reports of police violence at the protest. One woman said that the police tried to intimidate the activists, using obscene words and insulting gestures. The thirty-four women leaders were detained in Eshratabad Prison for ten hours before being transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison. Eight of the youngest detainees were released without charges on March 6. The detention occurred just ahead of the planned gathering in front of the Parliament on March 8, in honor of International Women's Day.
In August 2006, Iranian women's rights activists launched the "One Million Signatures" campaign to demand an end to discriminatory laws against women. Please support the campaign by going to our website at http://www.learningpartnership.org/advocacy/alerts/iranmillionsigns0207.