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Two journalists and women's rights defenders detained over online articles

(WiPC/IFEX) - The WiPC of International PEN protests the detention of journalists and women's rights defenders Maryam Hosseinkhah and Jelveh Javaheri on 18 November 2007 and 1 December 2007 respectively, for articles posted online.

PEN seeks guarantees of their well-being, and urges that while detained they be granted access to their lawyers, family and any necessary medical care. PEN considers Hosseinkhah and Javaheri to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

According to Amnesty International, Hosseinkhah and Javaheri, both journalists and women's rights defenders, were arrested when they reported to a branch of the Revolutionary Court in the capital, Tehran, for questioning. Other members of a women's rights campaign report that they have both been accused of "disturbing public opinion", "propaganda against the system" and "publication of lies" in connection with articles posted on the Internet.

Hosseinkhah and Javaheri are both active members of the Campaign for Equality, which aims to collect one million signatures in support of an end to legislation that discriminates against women. Hosseinkhah is one of the editors of the campaign's website ( http://www.we4change.info/ ), and Javaheri is a regular contributor of articles to the site. Javaheri has also written extensively on women's issues elsewhere. Hosseinkhah is also a member of the Women's Cultural Centre (WCC), a women's organization founded in 2001 to promote women's human and political rights in Iran. Several days before her summons, the website of the WCC was shut down on the orders of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the Judiciary.

Both women are detained in Section 3 of Tehran's Evin Prison, an open section which is used to hold those convicted of non-violent crimes and where other women's rights activists have previously been held.

Hosseinkhah and Javaheri were among 33 women arrested on 4 March while protesting at the trial of five women's rights activists. They were released four days later.

RECOMMENDED ACTION

Please send appeals to Iranian authorities:
- protesting the detention of Maryam Hosseinkhah and Jelveh Javaheri for their online writings in support of women's rights
- calling for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

APPEALS TO:

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Panzdah Khordad (Ark) Square,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Fax: +00 98 21 3390 4986
E-mail: [email protected] (mark 'FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi' in the subject line).
Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Intelligence
Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
Ministry of Intelligence,
Second Negarestan Street,
Pasdaran Avenue,
Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran.

Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
C/o Office of the Deputy for International Affairs
Ministry of Justice,
Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad (Ark) Square,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827

COPIES TO:

President:
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: +00 98 216 649 5880
E-mail: [email protected]
Via website: http://www.president.ir/email/

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