Monday, November 26, 2007
More than 1,000 Equal Rights Defenders Protest imprisonment of HosseinkhahChange for Equality: Monday November 25, In a statement issued yesterday on Sunday November 24, more than 1,000 equal rights defenders have protested the imprisonment of Maryam Hosseinkhah, while claiming, that all those who seek equal rights for women and a remedy to the negative impact of discriminatory laws, are as responsible as Maryam. The text of the Statement in English appears below:
Statement of Protest to the Arrest of Maryam Hosseinkhah
On 18th November, Maryam Hossienkhah, a journalist who is one of the many active members of One Million Signatures Campaign to end legal discrimination against women, was arrested after having been summoned to the revolutionary court. After being interrogated she was charged with disruption of public opinion, propaganda against the state, and publication of lies through her activity and writings in sites such as “Change for Equality” (www.we4change.info) and “Zanestan” (herlandmag.net). The bail was set for 100 million Tomans (more than hundred thousand dollars). As she could not afford bail she was transferred to Evin prison’s public ward.
We the activists, in support of legal equality, have taken steps, however small, to raise public awareness of the present discriminatory legal system. We have tried where possible to record by writing, whether in sites such as Change for Equality, Zanestan, Kanoone Zanan, and Meydaan, or in weblogs and newspapers, the experiences and pains of women in our society.
Therefore, the responsibility for the legality and transparency of the sites “Change for Equality” and “Zanestan” falls on the activists of this movement and each one of the signatories of the letter recognizes herself/himself as a member of the movement for equality. Each one of us, the defenders and activists of the movement for equality under the law, like Maryam Hossienkhah, are reporters of the pain and suffering of women in our country. We all write and we all protest the present legal discriminations. We reflect this pain and suffering through peaceful means in these sites, weblogs and newspapers such as “Change for Equality” and “Zanestan.” Therefore we share responsibility with Maryam Hosseinkhah. All the sites that write about legal equality belong not only to Maryam Hossienkhah, but to us all. They belong to all those who speak of the objections to legal discrimination through their writings. Therefore, we are all responsible for content of the internet sites and other media that publish on women’s rights issues.
We the signatories of this statement, like Maryam Hossienkhah, write in women’s sites, newspapers and magazines in the hope of improving women’s lives by echoing the pains and sufferings that are due to the existence of discriminatory laws such as polygamy, unequal blood money and age of criminal responsibility, etc.
There is no doubt that if Maryam Hosseinkhah is responsible for the writings and activities of women’s sites such as “Change for Equality” and “Zanestan,” then we the signatories are equally responsible. If Maryam Hossienkhah is imprisoned for what we all have done, then thousands of activists and defenders of equal legal rights in Iran should also be imprisoned.