03/08/2007versione stampabileprintinvia paginasend



With International Women's Day banned in Iran, imprisoned activists go on strike
The March 8 holiday has always divided public opinion between those opposed to singling out one day only to acknowledge women, and those for whom it is crucial to honor “the other half of the sky” with its own holiday.

manifestazione per i diritti delle donne a teheran Hunger Strike. Whatever side you stand on, you cannot pass the day without devoting some thought to Iran, especially to the feminist activists for women’s rights who were arrested last Sunday at a demonstration in Teheran. Yesterday they began a hunger strike, according to reports coming from their defense lawyers. It isn’t known how many were arrested, but there must be at least 30, according to Mohammed Ali Dadkha, head of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights, set up by Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. To head off any public gestures of solidarity with the prisoners, the government has prohibited the university from holding any observations to mark International Women’s Day on March 8. Mohammed Mehdi Zahedi, Minister for Scientific Research and for the Universities, sent a letter to all institutions of higher education, informing them of the ban on demonstrations.

dimostrazione per i diritti delle donne a teheran Women’s Day. All the jailed activists were taken to the notorious prison at Evin, in Teheran, where many dissidents have disappeared, never to be heard from again. The women were arrested during a protest in front of the headquarters of the Revolutionary Court, Iran’s version of the Supreme Court, at the beginning of a trial of certain of their associates who had been seized on June 12, 2006, during a demonstration against stoning and for equal rights between the genders. The only consolation for these women, other than some international support, is knowing that they scare the Iranian government, which has responded by inventing a “Day of the Iranian Woman” in late July, to coincide with the birth date of Mohammed’s daughter, Hazrat Fetemeh. It just goes to show how “Women’s Day,” both in and outside of Iran, often gets manipulated for political ends.
 
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Keywords: iran, women, rights
Topic: Human Rights, Women
Area: Iran