Middle East

Although women in Bahrain have had access to education and have participated in elections for eighty years now, even holding positions in government, Ghada Jamsheer, President of the Women's Petition Committee in Bahrain, denounces the flagrant bias stemming from the assumption that this equates to women's full emancipation.

The Islamic Sharia, in so far as it is interpreted and exploited as the principal source of legislation in Bahrain, has a negative impact on women's rights and dignity in the private sphere. With regards to the public sphere, women are entitled to participate in public affairs and enjoy political rights including the rights to vote and to stand for elections.

On 25 August the court of Al-Shamli, north of Hail, found Mrs Khamisa Sawadi guilty of the charge of "khilwa" (mingling with two young men to whom she was not immediately related), and the higher court in Riyadh ratified their verdict. One of the two young men who was tried alongside Sawadi may face additional charges for filing a law suit against the religious police. This is in spite of the fact that in May the Court of Cassation refused to ratify the verdict and returned the case to Al-Shamli court with several observations on the previous verdict, including the rejection of her breastfeeding claim and the fact that she is old.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws is very happy to announce that Shadi Sadr was released from Evin Prison on Tuesday, a little after 11 a.m. She returned home to her family earlier than the 6 p.m. time the court had said she would be released. Shadi’s family was planning to welcome her upon her arrival when they saw her standing at the door. Apparently, Shadi Sadr had arrived several hours earlier so that her friends and family would not have to gather outside the prison.

On Friday 17 July 2009, at around 11:30 a.m., our colleague Shadi Sadr was abducted by a group of officers in civilian clothes while she was walking on Keshavarz Boulevard, Tehran, to a mosque for Friday prayers.

The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network is deeply concerned by the violent abduction and detention without charge of human rights lawyer, Ms. Shadi Sadr, by state agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Femmes sous lois musulmanes et ses alliés demandent que l’Arabie Saoudite démontre son attachement aux droits humains et libère Khamisa Sawadi, Fahd Al-Anzi et Hadiyan Bin Zein et révoque l’ordre d’expulsion.
WLUML, and its allies, demand that Saudi Arabia demonstrate its commitment to human rights and release Khamisa Sawadi, Fahd al-Anzi, and Hadiyan bin Zein and revoke the order of deportation.
Dozens of women’s and human rights groups condemn the recent arrest and imprisonment of Iranian women’s rights activist Alieh Eghdamdoust. She will serve a sentence of three years imprisonment for participating in a lawful and peaceful demonstration in June 2006/1385 in Haft-e Tir Square in Tehran.
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