[state] repression of dissent

Between June 14 and June 23, 2011, a delegation of 11 scholars, activists, and artists visited occupied Palestine. As indigenous and women of color feminists involved in multiple social justice struggles, we sought to affirm our association with the growing international movement for a free Palestine. We wanted to see for ourselves the conditions under which Palestinian people live and struggle against what we can now confidently name as the Israeli project of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Each and every one of us—including those members of our delegation who grew up in the Jim Crow South, in apartheid South Africa, and on Indian reservations in the U.S.—was shocked by what we saw. In this statement we describe some of our experiences and issue an urgent call to others who share our commitment to racial justice, equality, and freedom.

Maryam Majd, an Iranian photojournalist, who disappeared on her way from Tehran, Iran, to Dusseldorf in Germany is being held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison. She is in ward 2A, controlled by the Revolutionary Guards, according to a reliable source. It is now over ten days since she last spoke to her family. During that phone call, she was crying and asked her mother 'Please do something to release me from here'. Her family and friends are particularly concerned that she has access to her medication, which she takes daily. No formal charges have been brought against Ms. Majd so far.

Britain says Iran's government has recently arrested several female activists as part of a campaign to stifle dissent. The U.K. Foreign Office named photographer Maryam Majd, filmmaker Mahnaz Mohammadi, journalist Zahra Yazdani and women's rights advocate Maryam Bahrman as being among those who have been detained in the past weeks.

La présidente du Comité d'organisation du Mondial féminin Steffi Jones a réclamé jeudi la libération d'une photographe iranienne qui devait couvrir la compétition et qui, selon Berlin, est incarcérée en Iran. "J'appelle instamment les responsables en Iran à libérer immédiatement Maryam Majd et à la laisser se rendre au Mondial", a dit Steffi Jones.

A prominent Iranian documentary film-maker and women's rights activist, whose work includes banned films about Iran's society, has been arrested by unidentified officials. Mahnaz Mohammadi, 37, was picked up from her home in the capital Tehran by security officers who refused to show a warrant for her arrest and was taken to Evin prison, where many activists are being held. Speaking by phone from Tehran, her lawyer told the Guardian that Mohammadi had been denied access to her family or proper legal representation and was being kept incommunicado.

A female sports photojournalist who had campaigned for Iranian women to be allowed to attend men's soccer games is missing amid reports she has been taken into custody in Tehran, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Maryam Majd, 24, was supposed to go to Duesseldorf on June 17 to prepare for the women's soccer World Cup in Germany and to work on a photo project with Petra Landers, a former German soccer player.

Maryam Majd, an Iranian photojournalist, has disappeared on her way from Tehran, Iran, to Dusseldorf in Germany, according to Petra Landers, a former national football player. In a letter to the German Foreign Office, Landers who met Maryam Majd earlier this year during a trip to Iran, explains what happened: "When I wanted to pick her up at 10:30 am on the 17th of June 2011 from Düsseldorf airport, I realized that she was not on the plane. (Mahan Airlines confirmed that Ms. Majd was not on board). By phone she was no longer reachable because the phone was switched off. Since that day nobody in Iran or in Germany has heard from Maryam Majd." This is Majd's blog (in Persian)

Karima Bennoune, member of WLUML’s Council and a law professor at Rutgers School of Law - Newark, served as a human rights observer at a series of pro-democracy demonstrations in Algeria in February. These demonstrations included significant numbers of women, and women human rights defenders (WHRDs) from a new coalition, the Observatoire Nationale sur la violence faites aux femmes (National Observatory on Violence against Women). Bennoune documented the treatment of the protestors, in particular of the women activists involved, as they faced police beatings, arrest and harassment. Prominent women’s rights advocateCherifa Kheddar, was arrested and briefly detained. Many of the Algerian women Bennoune met expressed tremendous enthusiasm about the presence of an international observer.

Britain has called on Iran to launch an immediate investigation into the death of Haleh Sahabi, the daughter of a veteran Iranian dissident who died during scuffles with security forces at her father's funeral on Wednesday. Sahabi was leading the procession at the ceremony by holding a picture of her father, Ezatollah Sahab. She died from a heart attack after reportedly being attacked by an agent and falling down.

For the past 2 1/2 months, Bahrain's government has cracked down brutally on opposition figures who led massive anti-government protests in February and March. Doctors, journalists, human rights workers and even elected officials have been detained and beaten. The government's most recent targets are women.

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