Iran: WLUML statement on arrest of lawyer Maryam Ghanbari

WLUML Networkers

On the morning of Monday 8 February, 3am local time, Maryam Ghanbari, a 27 years-old lawyer and an active member of Meydaan (Women’s Field), was arrested at her home in Tehran by five Iranian security officers, according to her lawyer, Mina Jafari. The location to which Ms. Ghanbari was taken and where she is currently being held is unknown, as well as any formal charges she might be facing.

Ms Ghanbari has been very active in the national women’s movement’s struggles against the draft of a new family law that includes laws on divorce, fixed-term marriage contracts for men, child custody, and legislation that would allow a man to take a second wife without the permission of the first in certain circumstances. She is also part of the Volunteer Lawyers Network, which is a voluntary legal service for vulnerable women.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) – International Solidarity Network is gravely concerned to hear of the arbitrary detention of yet another member of the women’s movement in Iran, and demands the immediate release of Ms. Ghanbari, or guarantees that she will receive a fair trial and not be subjected to any form of torture or degrading treatment.

WLUML reiterates its condemnation of the recent wave of arrests of women's rights activists. In solidarity with Iranian women, WLUML demands an end to state-led violence and repression, as well as the immediate release of all political detainees in Iran. As underlined in the January 2010 'Call for Solidarity: Freedom and Gender Equality in Iran', “gender discrimination intersects with other forms of subordination – whether based on class, ethnicity, political orientation, religion, and so on. Thus, the peaceful resistance of women and men in defence of gender equality in all social spheres – legal, political, cultural, economical, etc. – has profoundly impacted the Iranian movement for democracy. Iranian women have long demanded freedom and gender equality; they have employed both individual and group strategies, initiated various campaigns, and faced insults, threats, arrests and imprisonment in the process. Many of these women are currently in prison.”

The Iranian state, as a member of the international community and the United Nations, is obligated to uphold its international commitments and should respect international law to ensure that all of the arrested protestors receive fair and transparent trials.

9 February 2010

Women Living Under Muslim Laws
International Coordination Office

Iran_WLUML Statement on Maryam Ghanbari_9 Feb 2010.pdf77.66 KB