The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Iran.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the arbitrary detention of Ms. Maryam Bahreman, a civil society activist involved in the defence of women rights, notably as a member of One Million Signatures Campaign in Shiraz, and of Ms. Mahbubeh Karami, another member of the One Million Signatures Campaign.
According to the information received, on May 11, 2011, at 7.30 a.m., officers of the security forces from the Intelligence Ministry came to the house of Ms. Maryam Bahreman with a detention order. They reportedly arrested her on the charge of “action against national security”, and searched her house for three hours, confiscating some personal items including her cell phone, her laptop and some books.
At the time of writing, her whereabouts remain unknown.
Ms. Bahreman has been very active for women’s rights in Shiraz for many years. In particular, she was the General Secretary of Pars Women’s Association (Anjoman e Zanan Pars), which was closed in 2007.
The Observatory was also informed that on May 11, 2011, Ms. Mahbubeh Karami, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment by Branch 54 of the Appeal Court of Teheran in February 2011 on charges of "membership to human rights activists collective", "propaganda against the system" and "assembly and collusion with intent to commit crimes against the national security", received a summons to present herself within three days at Evin prison to start serving her sentence. On May 15, 2011, she went to Evin prison, where she was immediately arrested and where she remains detained. She is suffering from acute depression and under high-dosage medication.
The Observatory expresses its deepest concern about Ms. Maryam Bahreman and Ms. Mahbubeh Karami’s arbitrary detentions, which seem to merely aim at sanctioning their human rights activities amid the current general crackdown on the Iranian civil society, and calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release them, as well as all human rights defenders presently detained in the country.
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80