“Mourning Mothers” Arrested at Protest in Tehran
Two members of One Million Signatures Campaign Detained in Isfahan
(5 December 2009) Security forces arrested fifteen women belonging to the Committee of Mourning Mothers in Tehran today, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported.
Mourning Mothers is formed by women whose children were killed during post-election protests and their supporters. Members of the group include the mothers of Neda Agha-Soltan and Sohrab Aarabi. They have been staging weekly protests at Laleh Park in Tehran, demanding accountability and prosecution of those responsible for murdering their children.
“It is a moral outrage that Mourning Mothers are arrested while the killers of their children continue to enjoy unlimited impunity,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesperson.
According to eyewitnesses, large numbers of police and plain-clothes agents occupied Laleh Park today, preventing the Mourning Mothers and protestors from entering the park. Anyone who managed to enter the park was arrested. Fifteen mothers were reportedly taken into detention.
Security and intelligence forces have also stepped up persecution and detention of women’s rights activists belonging to the One Million Signatures Campaign. Today, intelligence agents detained Hayedeh Tabesh in Isfahan, the website Change for Equality reported.
On 23 November, another member of the One Million Signatures Campaign in Isfahan, Mehrnoosh Etemadi, was arrested at her home. She has been allowed only one visit with her family, during which she told them she is “under pressure.” Her lawyer, Mina Jaafari, has not been allowed to meet with her. Her only charge is reportedly “membership in the One Million Signatures Campaign,” which is not a recognizable charge under the Iranian laws.
“Detentions of women’s rights activists are patently illegal. They are not even charged with an offence under the law,” Ghaemi said.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called on the Iranian Judiciary to immediately put an end to illegal detentions and persecution of women’s rights activists and members of Mourning Mothers and to release all detainees.