WE CONDEMN RENEWED THREATS TO UGANDAN LGBT RIGHTS DEFENDERS
The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network and the Violence is not our Culture (VNC) Campaign condemn the recent police raid on a workshop for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights defenders in Entebbe, Uganda. This act is an outright violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders, which are guaranteed under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the African Charter, both of which the Uganda government has signed and ratified.
Parastoo Dokouhaki and Marzieh Rasouli, Iranian journalists and bloggers who were arrested last week, are being kept in solitary cells at Tehran’s Evin prison. Latest reports from Iran indicate that the two are held by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah) in the so-called ‘Ward AA’ (do Alef). The AA Ward of the Evin Prison is not under the jurisdiction or supervision of the Iranian Prisons Organizations, and is illegally run by the Intelligence Department of the IRGC.
Last week, agents stormed the houses of Dokouhaki and Rasouli and arrested the aforementioned, confiscating their laptops and other personal belongings. The two have been charged with “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the regime” – loosely defined charges that are repeatedly used in a range of cases. The real reasons for the arrests are, thus, not clear. So far, the journalists have been denied the right of access to attorney and no visitation with their family has been granted.
The international solidarity network Women Living Under Muslim Laws is shocked to learn that the Iranian security forces have carried out a new wave of arrests against journalists and women’s rights activists. This is a worrying development, as it shows the pressure on political activities and prisoners are mounting in Iran.
Alieh Eghdam Doust, women’s rights activist was released from prison today on January 8, 2011 after serving a three year prison term. Alieh was sentenced to serve three years in prison after she was arrested on June 12, 2006 along with nearly 70 other protesters in Haft-e Tir Square, during a protest demanding equal rights for women. Alieh was subsequently tried in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Courts, on charges of acting against national security and sentenced to 3 years and four months in prison and 20 lashes.
WLUML s'inquiète du fait que le premier acte public du Comité national de transition de Libye a été de proclamer, le 23 octobre 2011, l'annulation d'un certain nombre de lois, pour les remplacer par 'la sharia'. Le Comité national de transition de Libye est un gouvernement intérimaire : ce dont il est chargé, et qui aurait dû être sa première action, c'est de mettre en place un mécanisme pour organiser l'élection d'un nouveau gouvernement, après la chute du régime de Kadhafi.
WLUML is deeply concerned that the first public act of the Libya's National Transition Committee has been to proclaim on October 23rd, 2011, that a number of laws would be considered annulled and that 'sharia law' was to replace them. Libya’s National Transition Committee is an interim government – what it has responsibility for – and its first action should have been to put into place a mechanism for elections for the new government after the fall of the Gaddafi regime.
The Violence is Not our Culture (VNC) Campaign welcomes long awaited and recent reforms announced by King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud, that promise to gives Saudi Arabian women the rights to vote and run for office in municipal council elections, and to become full voting members of the next Shura council. The promise to increase women’s participation in civic life is a tribute to women’s efforts on the ground who have been campaigning inside the country, despite strict and rigid opposition.
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.