Statement in Protest Against Recent Events, Signed by Over 600 Members of the Women’s Movement
Monday 22 June 2009
This statement was circulated among women’s rights activists in the current conditions of a near complete communication shut-down. Therefore, many women’s rights activists [interested in signing] might not have yet seen this statement at this point. Zhila Bani-Yaghoub and her spouse, Bahman Amouiee, are among the undersigned but have since been arrested and are currently among the detainees.
Stop the Repression of Iran’s Women and Men
Release All Detainees
Although the non-democratic tenth presidential election was one of the most promising elections for bringing about peaceful change, what ensued afterward gave rise to widespread protests by the public.
Alongside civil and political rights activists, labor activists, students, journalists, and ethnic rights activists, a large spectrum of women’s rights activists from several campaigns and tendencies also participated in the election in order to say "no" to a government with a discriminatory orientation and to demand an end to gender discrimination.
A hope for change brought millions of women and men to ballot boxes, but the official results transformed this hope into despair and led to widespread demonstrations by the population. The response of the establishment to these protests has been blatant violence, beating, bloodying, injuring, and killing innocent citizens, and the arrest of human rights lawyers and activists, civil and political activists, journalists, students and ethnic rights activists.
Repressive forces, including those who give and those who carry out the orders, once again assaulted universities and dormitories in bloody fashion calling to the minds of all Iranians tired of violence the bitter memories of the events of July 9th 1999 in [Tehran] University dorms. Reports indicate that a significant number of female and male students have been killed, injured, arrested, or are missing across several Iranian cities.
In addition, the blocking of phone and internet communication channels has minimized access to information and and has distressed and disrupted the public psyche. Through complete control of the media, especially all radio and television broadcasting, the establishment is whipping up anger in the population by portraying those who protest and criticize its totalitarian behavior as hooligans and rioters. Meanwhile, without paying any heed to their rights, the state is subjecting people to various forms of brutal violence.
We, the undersigned activists of the women’s rights movement, condemn the violence and humiliation that has continued to be perpetrated against Iranian women and men in recent years and which is aimed at repressing them. We emphasize our continued commitment to achieving the demands of the women’s rights movement, which has had a profound role in educating the public and in civil struggles in recent years, and we express our solidarity with those who protest the results of this election. We demand that those arrested in recent days be released without condition and we call for securing and protecting civil and political freedoms.