Saturday, March 17, 2007

Women writers in prison

Dear Excellency, Mr. Ambassador of Iran,

No friend of President’s Bushes attitude and policy toward Iran, together with many people all over the world we are trying to avoid another disaster like the war in Iraq. Yet defending your country isn’t easy when prominent writers and journalists Shadi Sadr, Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh and Jila Baniyaghoub are imprisoned for having organized a peaceful demonstration. In total 33 women were arrested in Teheran March 4, 2007. As far as PEN International knows all were released, except the three above mentioned women who are still detained in Evin prison. PEN fears that these women’s right to free expression, see article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This Covenant has been signed by Iran. These facts have cast a shadow on the International Women’s Day, March 8, 2007, a day dedicated to Women and Peace, a truly important subject for the world.

Shadi Sadr is a well-known writer, journalist and lawyer. She has written many articles and books on women rights in Iran, and created Zanan-e Iran, the first website entirely dedicated to women’s rights issues in the country.
Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh is the editor of the quarterly journal Zanan and has been previously imprisoned for posting articles on reformist websites.
Jila Baniyaghoub is a prominent journalist and editor of the Iranian Women’s Society website and the women’s section of the Sarmaye newspaper. She was recently acquitted of charges of ‘acting against national security’ and ‘participating in an illegal demonstration’ after she covered a demonstration attended by thousands of women on 12 June 2006 calling for legal reforms.

PEN Writers in Prison Committee is very worried about the fate of these three women and would like to know what they are charged with. Furthermore we would like to be reassured as to their wellbeing.

Dear Mr. Ambassador, I urge you to forward our appeal and concern for these women to your government.

1 comment:

  1. Sanam Dolatsahi wrote:

    Thank you so much. Jila is also released. Only Shadi Sadr and Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh are in prison. We keep our fingers crossed and certainly need your supports.