Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Iranian women on trial for peaceful protest

At least nine Iranian women will go on trial for “acting against national security by participating in an illegal gathering,” Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday. The women were present at a peaceful protest against discriminatory laws on June 12, 2006, when police violently broke up the event. Five of the women will go on trial on March 4. The other four have not had their court dates set yet.

The charges, according to Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch, violate both international and Iranian law. Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory, recognizes the right to peacefully assemble, stating, “no restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” In addition, Iran’s own constitution permits “public gatherings and marches [to] be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.”

Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, will represent several of the women at trial.

For the full article, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home