Two Female Journalists and Women’s Rights Activists Arrested in Iran

Two leading female journalists were arrested this past week as part of the Iranian government’s crackdown on pro-democracy journalists and websites. According to the New York Times, Mahboubeh Abbas-Gholizadeh, the editor of the Farzaneh magazine and an outspoken women’s rights activist, was arrested on November 1. Fereshteh Ghazi, who writes about women’s rights issues in a daily newspaper, was also arrested last week.

According to Human Rights Watch, since September 7, the Iranian government has arrested journalists and online writers to “cripple the country’s growing network of independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).” Several other journalists and online writers have been arrested, including Omid Memarian who is a well known pro-democracy figure and writer in Iran who writes extensively on youth-related issues in Iran. HRW is calling on the Iranian authorities to end their harassment and intimidation of peaceful critics. HRW is also urging for the immediate release of the activists and writers.

Iran‘s newly elected parliament is imposing more restrictions on women’s rights and is denying efforts for gender equality and women’s inheritance rights. In mid-October, a 13-year-old Iranian girl Jila Izadi, was sentenced to being stoned to death just months after another Iranian girl was publicly hung for allegedly engaging in sexual relations with an older man.

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New York Times 11/8/04; Human Rights Watch 11/9/04, 10/15/04; Feminist Daily News Wire 9/24/04

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