June 2013 marked the handover of security from NATO to Afghan forces and US troops are preparing for their final withdrawal from Afghanistan next year after more than a decade of occupation. The growing concerns of women's and human rights groups and observers both within and outside the country over the transition process are well-documented. In the approach to the handover, there has been an escalation of violence with women and children the primary casualties. While both occupying forces and insurgents have been responsible for injury and loss of civilian life, the insurgents have been at the forefront of the most recent violence.
As in Egypt, Muslim fundamentalists in Tunisia have tried to use 2011’s opening to impose their own repressive agenda. The challenge today is to effectively counter that fundamentalist agenda in non-violent and rights-respecting ways. Democratic forces need international support to achieve that.
Ahmadinejad is leaving, but the memories of his era linger, bitter mostly, for some more than others, none, perhaps, more bitter than those of the Iranian sportswomen, athletes whose challenge begins way before the starting gun and ends... well it never really ends. Here, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, whatever the name, discrimination is the game.
Nasrin Sotoudeh, 50, is an award-winning lawyer, human rights activist and mother of two who is sentenced to six years in prison. She has been detained and imprisoned since September 2010. Ms. Sotoudeh is a member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, the One Million Signatures Campaign to Change Discriminatory Laws against Women, and the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws International Solidarity Network (WLUML) are deeply concerned about the situation of Iranian journalist Fariba Pajooh, who has been detained since her arrest without charge on July 10, 2013 (first day of Ramadan). When her family visited the Evin Prison Court, Islamic Republic of Iran authorities informed them that Ms. Pajooh’s case file had been transferred to Branch 2 of the Shahid Moghaddas Prosecutor’s Office of the same prison. IRI authorities have reportedly instructed the family to not follow up on her case as they have reportedly guaranteed her imminent release.
On Sunday June 23, 2013, the Islamic Republic regime used Sha’baan, the holy month of Islam to temporarily release Nasrin Sotoudeh from Evin Prison. She is an award-winning lawyer, human rights activist and mother of two who is sentenced to six years in prison. Jila Baniyaghoob, award-winning journalist, women’s rights activist, and spouse of imprisoned journalist Bahman Ahmadi Amouie, was also released from Evin on the same day after she had reached the end of her one-year prison sentence.
We deplore the recent crackdown of the Turkish government on its own citizens, the clearly unjustified use of tear gas, acts of force, gas canisters and smoke bombs that have resulted in a vast number of injuries, imperiling the lives of those who seek to exercise their basic freedoms of assembly and protest.
أصدرت المحكمة الجزئية بمحافظة الخُبر، صباح اليوم، الحكم بالسجن لمدة 10 أشهر، والمنع من السفر لمدة عامين لسيدتين سعوديتين بتهمة “تخبيب” سيدة كندية؛ وهو ما يعني “إفساد المرأة بأن يزيّن إليها كراهة زوجها”. ومن ضمن التهم تحريض الزوجة ضد زوجها ومحاولة تهريبها وأبنائها إلى خارج السعودية بطريقةٍ غير مشروعة، حيث قُبض عليهما ووجّهت لهما تهمتا تخبيب امرأة على زوجها ومحاولة تهريبها وأبنائها.
لم أصدق الخبر الذي وصلني من صديقتي فالنتينا كولمبو، الأستاذة في العلوم الإسلامية بجامعة روما. بعثته إلي على التويتر، وتأكدت منه من وجيهة الحويدر نفسها. وجيهة الحويدر، الناشطة الحقوقية النسوية السعودية حكم عليها بالسجن عشرة أشهر ومنعت من السفر لمدة عامين. الحكم صدر عليها وعلى صديقتها، والناشطة الحقوقية فوزية العيوني. وفحواه محاولة "هدم الحياة الزوجية" لامرأة كندية متزوجة من رجل سعودي. قضية السيدة الكندية معروفة، فهي تزوجت وأنجبت منه ثلاثة أطفال، وعندما سافرت معه إلى السعودية عام 2005، بدأ يسيء معاملتها، ويضربها، ثم يمنع عنها وأطفالها الطعام.
Iranians choose a new president next month, and one thing Iran's leaders are intent on avoiding is a repeat of themassive street protests that followed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial re-election in 2009.