Iran: Arrest and Destruction

Martyam Hosseinkhah The Iranian government has continued its policy of repression against women's rights activists and Sufi Muslims in recent weeks. Maryam Hosseinkhah, a women’s rights activist and journalist was arrested a few days ago, and a Sufi Muslims’ Center was destroyed by security forces about one week ago.

Target: Women’s rights activists

Maryam Hossienkhah is a member of the Women’s Cultural Center. She is an active member of the One Million Signatures Campaign. She was arrested only a few days after the website of the Women's Cultural Center was shut down on the order of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the Judiciary.

Change for Equality writes on November 17:

“She was interrogated for over 2 hours on Saturday and told that she is charged with disruption of public opinion, propaganda against the state, and publication of lies through the publication of untrue news items on the site of the Women’s Cultural Center and the One Million Signatures signature campaign.

Change for Equality says the arrest of Maryam Hosseinkhah marks the continuation of increased harassment of women’s rights activists by Iranian security forces. To date, over 40 individuals have been arrested in relation to their peaceful activities in support of the Campaign

Negarka says [Fa]: “Free Maryam Hosseinkhah, she is a brave girl who just wrote for the freedom, justice and glory of her country.”

Farideh Gheyrat, a jurist, argues [Fa] that her arrest is illegal. Shirin Ebadi, a Noble Peace laureate, is one of her lawyers.

Islamic Republic vs Sufi Muslims

Women's rights activists are not the only recent target of government. Sufi Muslims (Dervishes) had a Center attacked and destroyed last week.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former reformist Iranian vice president, says [fa]:

In the difficult political, economic and international situation the country is experiencing, there was a row with Sufis in Boroojerd and their house of worship was destroyed. Sufis trying to defend their house of worship started fighting back as well. Meanwhile the house of worship was destroyed. A similar event occurred in Qom.

Azad Nevis says[Fa] the government’s reason to repress Sufism is not related to their ideology or religion. The blogger says the Iranian government represses whenever a group of people can organize themselves and have a leader.


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