The Human Rights Task Force of the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS), an affiliate of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), stands in solidarity with Iranian women political prisoners and all those indicted for opposing the compulsory hijab, now known collectively as ‘Girls of Revolution Street.’ Among them are well known human rights activists including Vida Movahed, Narges Hosseini, Maryam Shariatmadari, and Shaprak Shajarizad. Leila Hosseinzadeh, an anthropology student, labor and women’s rights activist, who was arrested after the December protests along with other student activists faces a six-year prison sentence. Nasrin Sotudeh, a feminist, a leading human rights attorney and defender of many of the Girls of Revolution Avenue is imprisoned and faces a five-year prison sentence.
Already serving long prison sentences are Narges Mohammadi, a journalist, women’s rights and human rights activist, and deputy director of the Center for the Defenders of Human Rights in Iran, founded by Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi; Zeynab Jalalian, a Kurdish political activist who was arrested and imprisoned in 2008 for her activities with the political wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party; Golrokh Iraee, writer who has been in prison since October 2016 serving a six-year prison sentence for writing an unpublished story against the barbaric practice of stoning; and Atena Daemi a women’s and children’s rights activist who has been imprisoned since May 2015 and serving a seven-year prison sentence since November 2016 for charges such as distributing flyers against the death penalty, meeting the families of political prisoners, criticizing the Islamic Republic of Iran on Facebook and condemning the 1988 mass executions of political prisoners in Iran.
The women’s human rights activists were charged with spurious offenses such as “inciting corruption and promoting prostitution.” The Association for Middle East Women’s Studies urges the Iranian government to drop charges and immediately release these political prisoners, and to follow international human rights law in dealing with all future political protestors and social justice activists.
AMEWS Human Rights Task Force
Nancy Gallagher, Chair, University of California, Santa Barbara
Sondra Hale, University of California, Los Angeles
Nadje Al-Ali, SOAS University of London
Anita Fabos, IDCE Clark University
Hind Ahmed Zaki, Harvard University
Angie Abdelmonem, Arizona State University