Somayeh Rashidi, an Iranian women's rights activist with the One Million Signatures Campaign, was targeted this morning with a search of her home and a summons to court. She told Change for Equality, that she "asked the security officials to provide me with identification, but they refused, claiming instead that [she] will find out in the future what intelligence agency they are working with. [She] also objected to the search and seizure of property belonging to [her] roommates, but the security officials did not pay any attention to [her] protests." Rashidi was also arrested in November in connection to public protests and spent two days in prison. Today's search is just the latest in a series of arrests of or attacks/threats towards Iranian women's rights activists.
Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate and one of Iran's leading human rights defenders, is also being harassed and her family is being targeted. Iranian authorities not only froze her bank account, but also broke into Ebadi's safe deposit box and stole her Nobel medal, which has since been returned, according to the LA Times.
Omid Memarian, an exiled Iranian journalist, told the Daily Beast, "I talked to Shirin Ebadi just a few days ago. The authorities have summoned her husband, brother, and sister...Her organization in Iran cannot operate freely. She has been the most significant voice for human rights in Iran over the last five months. Harassing her is a very intimidating signal to others."
According to the Daily Beast, in addition to the continued harassment of women's rights activists, last month "Iranian state television ran a documentary attacking the nation's women's rights movement." Airing of the documentary preceded an announcement earlier this month from the head of Iran's state television, Ezatollah Zarghami, who declared that state-sponsored television programs will henceforth prohibit women who appear on air from using make-up. Zarghami told the newspaper Eternad that "make-up by women during television programs is illegal and against Islamic Sharia law. There should not be a single case of a woman wearing make-up during a program."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 11/12/08, 12/4/09, 8/14/09; Change for Equality 12/14/09; Daily Beast 12/13/09; LA Times 12/11/09
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .