[fund] persecution of opposition

Nous, les femmes de la Marche Mondiale des Femmes, mouvement féministe qui lutte contre la pauvreté et contre tous types de violences faites aux femmes, voulons exprimer à Aminetu et à nos amies de l'Association des Femmes Sahraouies toute notre solidarité et notre soutien dans ces moments qui nous serrent le coeur. Nous avons besoin qu'Aminetu Haidar vive ! Sa vie est précieuse et nécessaire pour sa famille, pour son peuple et pour faire un monde un peu meilleur et un peu plus humain.

WLUML's solidarity letter to human rights defender, Aminatou Haidar. The Moroccan government is blocking Ms. Haidar from returning to her home in Western Sahara. She is in the fourth week of a hunger strike at Lanzarote airport. (For regular updates on her critical situation, please go to: http://freesahara.ning.com/)

حت عنوان "واحة الإفلات من المحاسبة والعقاب"، يصدر مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان اليوم تقريره السنوي الثاني حول حقوق الإنسان في العالم العربي خلال عام 2009. ويأسف مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان لأن يعلن للرأي العام، أن حالة حقوق الإنسان في هذه المنطقة، تتجه إلى المزيد من التدهور، حتى بالمقارنة مع الوضع المتدهور عام 2008. يستعرض التقرير أبرز التطورات ذات الصلة في 12 بلد عربي، هي مصر وتونس والجزائر والمغرب والسودان ولبنان وسوريا وفلسطين والعراق والسعودية والبحرين واليمن.

Today the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies released its second annual report on the state of human rights in the Arab world for the year 2009.  The report, entitled Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform, concludes that the human rights situation in the Arab region has deteriorated throughout the region over the last year. The report reviews the most significant developments in human rights during 2009 in 12 Arab countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. It also devotes separate chapters to the Arab League and an analysis of the performance of Arab governments in UN human rights institutions.

Hengameh Shahidi, a female journalist, has been sentenced to six years, three months and one day’s imprisonment for charges related to her peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. She remains free on bail, pending an appeal against her conviction and sentence, but if imprisoned, Amnesty International would consider her to be a prisoner of conscience and would call for her immediate and unconditional release.

Aminatou Haidar, who is 42 and has two children, was detained at Laayoune airport, Western Sahara on 13 November when she returned from a month-long trip, to countries including the USA, where she accepted the 2009 Civil Courage Prize, which is awarded every year "for steadfast resistance to evil at great personal risk." She was questioned about why she had given her home as "Western Sahara" rather than "Moroccan Sahara" on her landing card; she was also asked about her travel, as well as her political opinions and affiliations.

La tension commence à monter entre l'Espagne et le Maroc au sujet d'Aminatou Haidar, une militante sahraouie qui observe, depuis le 16 novembre, une grève de la faim à l'aéroport de Lanzarote, aux Canaries, en Espagne, après avoir été expulsée du Maroc. Porte-voix des partisans de l'indépendance du Sahara occidental, cette femme de 42 ans a été arrêtée le 13 novembre à l'aéroport d'El-Ayoun, chef-lieu du Sahara occidental, à son retour d'un voyage à New York où elle a reçu, pour son action en faveur des droits de l'homme, le prestigieux Prix du courage civique de la Train Fundation. Sur sa fiche d'entrée, l'activiste avait inscrit qu'elle était résidente au Sahara occidental.

Media Hobbled and Mobile Communications Shut Down; Moussavi and Karroubi Feared Under House Arrest: Massive Iranian security and paramilitary forces are tear-gassing, beating, and arresting students on university campuses taking part in National Student Day demonstrations, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported today.  The crack-down is taking place as authorities have forbidden international journalists from observing the events, and shut down internet and mobile-telephone communications, in an apparent attempt to suppress the flow of information and to thwart coordination of the protests.  Leaders of the reform movement have been prevented from joining protesters.

Security forces arrested fifteen women belonging to the Committee of Mourning Mothers in Tehran today, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported. Mourning Mothers is formed by women whose children were killed during post-election protests and their supporters. Members of the group include the mothers of Neda Agha-Soltan and Sohrab Aarabi. They have been staging weekly protests at Laleh Park in Tehran, demanding accountability and prosecution of those responsible for murdering their children.

Interview with Sadighe Shalbafian, Mother of Imprisoned Campaign Activist Mehrnoosh Etemadi: "We Remain in a State of Limbo and Uncertainty". Change for Equality has conducted an interview with Sadighe Shalbafian regarding the situation of her daughter Mehrnoosh Etemadi. Etemadi who is an activist in the One Million Signatures Campaign was arrested on November 23, 2009 after security officials searched her home and seized property. While she has contacted her family by phone a few times, her status in prison and the charges against her remain unclear. The interview with her mother, Sadighe Shalbafian follows:

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