Saudi authorities on Monday freed a woman jailed nine days ago for her role in promoting the right to drive for Saudi women. Manal Al Sharif, a 32-year-old computer security specialist employed by the oil giant ARAMCO, was detained May 22 after she defied the kingdom's ban on female drivers and posted a video of her action on YouTube, as part of a national campaign.
The international solidarity network, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) calls for the immediate release of Manal Al-Sharif. Saudi authorities have arrested an activist who launched a campaign to challenge a ban on women driving in the conservative kingdom. The media spokesman of the Directorate General of Prisons in Saudi Arabia, Colonel Dr Ayoub Ben, has confirmed that Manal Al-Sharif has been charged with breach of public order and security, and with ‘deliberately inciting the media and other Saudi women’ to drive cars. She will be detained for a further five days pending investigation. There are reports that Al-Sharif has signed a pledge in prison not to drive again in Saudi Arabia. UPDATE: Al-Sharif’s prison sentence has been extended for a further ten days, starting from Thursday 26 May. Women’s rights activist Wajeha al-Huwaider was called in for questioning by her employers, Saudi Aramco, regarding her support for Manal, and forced to sign a pledge not to support the 17 June campaign. Al-Huwaider added the disclaimer that she will continue demanding the right of women to drive through different channels until it is codified into law.
On Wednesday 11 May 2011, Iranian security forces arrested Maryam Bahreman, an Iranian women’s rights and civil society activist in Shiraz. Bahreman is a founding member, and was the general secretary, of the Association of Women of Pars (Anjome Zanan Pars), which was established in 2003. As a member of this association, she was active in many women's movement activities including the One Million Signature Campaign. Bahreman was also a participant at the 55th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) conference in New York in March of this year, where she was on a panel about women and ICT.
Riz Khan is joined by Rabab al-Mahdi, a professor of political science at the American University in Cairo; Frances Hasso, a professor of Women's Studies at Duke University; and Nadje al-Ali, a social anthropologist at the University of London. What role have Arab women played in the popular uprisings around the Middle East and what stake do they really have in their countries' political future?
While various media have published news of an appeals court’s ruling of four years in prison and 74 lashes for human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari, her lawyer, Mohammad Sharif has not yet been served with the ruling. ”I have not yet been officially served with the verdict, and unfortunately, the news was publicized in the media without my knowledge. I learned about the ruling through the press, too,” he said.
The Violence is Not our Culture Campaign (VNC) and Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) are deeply concerned over the continued denial of human rights in Iran in light of the Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani case. Lack of due process and the right to a fair trial, arbitrary detention, torture, and restrictions of freedom of information, of the press, and of association sadly constitute the status quo in the Islamic Republic.
Le Réseau international de solidarité Femmes sous lois musulmanes (WLUML) et la Campagne mondiale « Arrêtons de tuer et de lapider les femmes! » salue l’annonce récente de la libération de Shiva Nazar Ahari, survenue le dimanche 12 septembre 2010.
UPDATED 20/09/2010: An Iranian court has now jailed Shiva Nazar Ahari for six years after convicting her of "moharebeh" or "emnity with God" - usually punishable by death.
The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network and the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW campaign) welcome the news that Shiva Nazar Ahari was released from prison on Sunday 12 September 2010.Shiva Nazar Ahari is a 26-year-old human rights activist specializing in women’s rights, children’s rights, and the defense of political prisoners. She is a journalist and blogger, as well as actively involved with the Committee of Human Rights Reporters and the One Million Signatures Campaign. Formerly a civil engineering graduate student, Ahari was expelled from university as a result of her student activism. She had endured 266 consecutive days in Evin Prison, 100 of which were spent in solitary confinement, for participating in non-violent actions.
In a demonstration on 9 August, women activists in Iraq bravely take a stand against the injustices, absence of basic human rights and broken promises suffered by the women of Iraq. In this empowering video clip, the women of Iraq – manyof whom live without electricity or housing – takea stand and demand a government which caters, understands and feels the miseries of all its people – regardlessof gender, race of religion.