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03/04/2013 English

Women’s Cases Supporting the Special Rapporteur’s March 2013 Report

This supplement provides documented cases of detained women that served as part of the basis of Dr. Shaheed’s March 2013 report presented to the UN Human Rights Council. The documentation is based on primary interviews and secondary research conducted for the March 2013 report (Click here for the full report supplement),

Report Supplement

February 28, 2013

VIII. Women

49. “Yasmin L.” reported that Zeinab Bayazidi has been arrested four times, most recently in June 2008. Zeinab Bayazidi was summoned over the phone to report to court in Mahabad, where was charged with “acting against the regime,” “membership in the Mothers of Peace Organization,” “propaganda against the regime,” “participation in a conference for the One Million Signatures Campaign,” and “interviewing victims of mine explosions in the border region.” Yasmin stated that Zeinab Bayazidi had no access to a lawyer during any of her arrests. Yasmin reported that Zeinab Bayazidi was interrogated for five hours and then received a sentence of 4.5 years, after a trial that lasted a few minutes. Yasmin claimed that the shop Zeinab Bayazidi owned was called “Zilan” (the name of a Kurdish plant and an approved name for Kurdish children), which is also the name of an known activist activist. She reported that Zeinab Bayazidi was accused of naming the store after this Kurdish activist. After being taken to Mahabad prison she began a hunger strike. In November 2008, she was transferred to Zanjan prison, where there were no other Kurdish prisoners with her. Yasmin reported that Zeinab Bayazidi witnessed another prisoner being beaten; when she intervened she was verbally abused and cursed. She began another hunger strike during this time. For the last six months of her sentence, she was transferred to Maragheh Central Prison, in which she was kept in a small three-four meter cell with 15 other prisoners. Zeinab was allegedly kept in very poor conditions, sharing one toilet and shower, and had little access to hot water. She was released in November 2012, after completing her sentence.

50. Fatimeh Masjidi was arrested on 8 May 2009, and was charged with propaganda against the state for feminist activities and sentenced to one year in prison and a one million rial fine. She was also involved with the One Million Signatures Campaign. During the arrest, her house was searched and over 400 of her books were confiscated. Ms. Masjidi and her fiancé were both arrested and taken to Qom. She spent two days in solitary confinement, and then taken by Ministry of Intelligence to be interrogated for 12 hours a day, for 10 days. During this time she was told to cease communication with the moderate mullahs she was in contact with. She was released on bail two weeks later. Ms. Masjidi was arrested again on 28 January 2010, for an “illicit relationship”. She was once again interrogated, and threatened with flogging if she did not sign what they told her to. The court proceedings took 1.5 years overall. She was convicted for her participation in the One Million Signatures Campaign, and for an “illicit relationship.” She and her fiancé were both given 99 lashes and she was exiled to the south. Her trial was held in August 2010 by a Revolutionary Court in Qom and she was charged with propaganda against the system and sentenced to one year in prison and a fine for wearing the hijab incorrectly. Ms. Masjidi reported that prison conditions in Langeroud were very poor; there were 20 beds for 150 prisoners, and prisoners were held in extremely unsanitary conditions. She reported that there were many children with their mothers in prison, some who were being abused. She was eventually released and left the country.