UPDATE: Iran: Wave of arrests: Court again refuses to accept bail posted for 'One Million Signatures' campaigner Zeinab Peyqambarzadeh

When asked about Zeinab’s bail, her father Peyqambarzadeh explained that court officials did not even discuss the issue of bail with him. “They only told me to leave and didn’t allow me any visits with my daughter either. They were angry and shouted a lot and told me that they have reactivated Zeinab’s previous criminal charge [for when she was arrested on the metro for distributing pamphlets about the Campaign]”. Zeinab’s father explained further that he worries for his daughter’s safety because they won’t tell him what they are going to do. "Is it a crime to ask for a written summons?" he asks.
Women’s rights activist, Zeinab Peyqambarzadeh, has been in Evin prison, Public Ward 3 (youth section) since May 7, 2007. Reports indicate that she is in dire need of her heart medication to which she has had no access since her illegal imprisonment. Zeinab Peyqambarzadeh also has two pending court cases. She was the first member of the Campaign to be arrested. She was arrested on Friday December 22, 2006 while distributing pamphlets on the metro and taken to Vozara Detention Center. She was subsequently released after spending 5 days in detention. Zeinab has since been arrested on two other occasions. She was among the 33 women arrested in front of the Revolutionary Courts in early April. In relation to this case, Zeinab was summoned to the Revolutionary Courts on May 7, and was arrested due to the fact that she was unable to post a bail of 20 Million Tomans. Attempts by her father and lawyer to post the bail imposed by the court, have been unsuccessful and they have not even been permitted entry into the court in their efforts to free Zeinab.

Zeinab, who is 23 years old, is a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, which seeks to end legal discrimination against women in Iran. She is also a journalist working with the social section of Sarmayeh Daily and a member of the Women’s Commission of the student organization, the Office to Foster Unity. She is a university student at Tehran University, where she is studying toward a degree in social science. In September of 2006, Zeinab was charged with participating in student protests in May and June of 2005, and suspended from university for two terms.

To read Zeinab's account, "Vozara Detention Center: A Place for Women in Search of Freedom", please click here and for more information on her activism, see here.

Mohammad Sharif, a member of the Iranian Bar Association, speaks of the eradication of discriminatory legislations against women as an intricate part of the fundamental human rights: “We live in an era where it is no longer possible for the individual governments to treat their citizens with no accountability to the global community, by excusing their abuse as a matter of domestic affair. In the age of universal humanity, universal laws are needed to break the cycle of inequality before law and in the failure of upholding the international laws.”

To read Mohammad Sharif's full statement, please click here.

For background to the waves of arrests of women's human rights defenders in Iran, please see our previous Calls for Action and the we4change website.

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