Fourth Women’s Rights Activist Arrested in Iran in Less Than a Month

Iran - Women’s rights advocate Maryam Azad was arrested by security agents at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on September 25, 2018, after boarding a plane scheduled to fly to Istanbul, a source close to the family informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). 

Prior to being arrested, Azad had been under medical care for an unknown ailment, according to the Amsterdam-based Radio Zamaneh.

A 31-year-old researcher from the city of Shiraz, Azad is the fourth women’s rights advocate to be detained in Iran in less than a month. The authority that arrested her and any charges against her are unclear.

Women’s rights activists Hoda Amid and Najmeh Vahedi were arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Tehran on September 1, three days before they were scheduled to host a workshop on Iran’s marriage laws. Rezvaneh Mohammadi was arrested by security agents at her home in Tehran on September 3. 

All three women were involved in training workshops on equal marriage rights and other peaceful activities related to women’s rights. They were all arrested at their homes without a warrant. No information regarding the charges or where they are being held have been disclosed, and the families have been denied visitations or phone calls.

“Iran’s authorities think they can stop people from advocating for women’s rights by locking them up, but unlawful arrests will not silence the growing number of people who are standing up for women’s rights in Iran,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“It has been 25 days since the temporary detention of my sister Nahmeh Vahedi and we are still seeking our rights as citizens,” Reza Vahedi tweeted on September 25.

On September 18, Reza Vahedi had tweeted that his mother “calmed down a bit” after visiting Najmeh in Evin Prison in Tehran on that day.

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