Noushin Ebadi, sister of human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, and all arrested members of the activist group Mourning Mothers were released from prison yesterday. It is unclear whether One Million Signatures campaign founder Mansoureh Shojaee, journalist Morteza Kazemian, and other Iranian feminists remain imprisoned.
Shirin Ebadi told Al Jazeera that “The government arrested my sister and held her in prison in horrible conditions…They thought that by doing so they could keep me quiet. After three weeks they realized that there was no point and I wasn’t going to stay quiet. So they let her go.” Noushin Ebadi was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents in December.
At least 33 members of Mourning Mothers had been held in prison since Saturday after being arrested during a peaceful protest in Tehran. The group was formed after the widely publicized death of Neda Agha-Soltan last summer and members are mothers of protestors who have been killed, detained or are missing. The women typically wear black as a sign of mourning and regularly protest in the park where they were arrested.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the release of the Mourning Mothers members Wednesday. She said “If the Iranian government wants the respect of the international community, it must respect the rights of its people. It must govern through consent, and not coercion.”