Honourable Chair of Iran Bar Association, Honourable members of the management committee, You are aware that on Saturday 2nd Mordad 1389 (24th July 2010) the security forces invaded the offices of Mr. Mohammad Mostafaei, one of the most active human rights lawyers in Iran, but could not find him. A few hours later they arrested his wife and brother-in-law in front of his office and took them to the Evin Prison. The investigator at Revolutionary Court in Evin prison has told them that they will stay in prison until Mr. Mostafaei gives himself up.
Since the recent controversy surrounding the French government’s ban on total face coverings (burqa or niqab), the head scarf issue has once again attracted the world’s attention. Indeed, only very few Muslim women cover their face completely, which is a reflection of the attitude preached by Sayed al Tantawi, an imam of Al-Azhar in Cairo, who boldly stated that total face coverings are not in accordance with Islamic teachings. It is therefore not surprising that the education ministry in Syria, a Muslim majority country, has also issued a ban on niqab in all state and private universities.
The vote by the Spanish Senate to ban the use of Burqa by Muslim women no doubt has sent multiple signals across the globe and in particular the Muslim world. The vote which was a narrow one, 131 to 129, in favour of the ban is part of the trend sweeping through Europe in the last few years.
The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW Campaign) and Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) are seriously concerned about the reported arrest of the wife and brother-in-law of human rights lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei. They were arrested on 24 July 2010 and are being held in the infamous Evin Prison in Tehran. His wife, Fereshteh Halimi, called her parents to confirm her arrest and detention. Her brother, Farhad Halimi, is also believed to be detained there. There are strong indications that their arrest is intended to pressure Mohammad Mostafaei to turn himself in. Mohammad Mostafaei is a leading human rights lawyer who defended Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to death by stoning, and a number of other detainees in Iran.
As protests against the stoning of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani arose amongst the public and western officials, the IRI embassy in London announced that the verdict would not be stoned to death. On the contrary, the Secretary of Judiciary Commission of Human Rights declared that death by stoning does exist in the law of the country and that it would be implemented. Now, it is feared that the Islamic Republic of Iran may decide to suddenly execute all those sentenced to stoning, either by stoning or hanging, in an attempt to quiet the rising western opposition as quickly as possible.
The French parliament's vote this week to ban full-length veils in public was the right move by the wrong group. Some have tried to present the ban as a matter of Islam vs. the West. It is not. First, Islam is not monolithic. It, like other major religions, has strains and sects. Many Muslim women -- despite their distaste for the European political right wing -- support the ban precisely because it is a strike against the Muslim right wing.
تخصص صحيفة الاندبندنت ليوم السبت عدة مقالات لقانون حظر ارتداء البرقع في فرنسا بعنوان من الصعب ترجمة حظر البرقع من الفرنسية الى الانجليزية، يقول احدها انه كان واضحا ان تصويت الجمعية العامة الفرنسية بقوة لحظر ارتداء البرقع في الاماكن العامة سيؤدي الى عودة الجدل حوله الى بريطانيا وتذكر الصحيفة كيف ان الموضوع حظي باهتمام واسع قبل اربع سنوات عندما كشف جاك سترو وزير العدل آنذاك انه يطالب مرتديات البرقع او النقاب من المقيمات في دائرته باماطته عند لقائه، لانه لم يكن مرتاحا للوضع وتقول الاندبندنت ان عودة القضية وبقاءها في الخلفية بعد الجدل الاولي كان ذا اثر ايجابي على العلاقات بين الاقليات في المجتمع البريطاني.
ECWR was shocked when it received the decision of the State Council, Egypt’s Administrative Court, to defer the appointment of female judges, although consensus of the Special Council was reached, allowing women to be appointed to judicial positions. The State Council attributed reason for the delay in approving the appointment of female judges to regulation problems, including a lack of safe and secure places for women to stay when presiding over a trial and a lack of nurseries for their children.
Human rights defenders Ms Tolekan Ismailova and Ms Aziza Abdirasulova have been subjected to interrogation and intimidation in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, following their activities monitoring the human rights situation in southern Kyrgyzstan in the wake of inter-ethnic fighting.