Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Free Roya Tolouie

KurdishMedia News: Kurdish Women's Rights Watch
Following the murder of a young Kurdish citizen in the city of Mahabad on 9th July, 2005, there have been large-scale anti-governmental demonstrations over the past six weeks in different cities and towns of Iranian Kurdistan. The security forces have responded to these peaceful protest marches by opening fire on both demonstrators and ordinary people on the street. Dozens of civilians have been killed and injured, and according to official reports more than five hundred people have been arrested. The efforts of the families of these prisoners to get their loved ones freed have so far been unsuccessful. Recently it has been reported that a couple of hundred prisoners have been transferred to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. Two independent Kurdish magazines have been banned.

Among those arrested are a number of human rights activists, including Ms. Roya Tolouie, an activist in the women’s movement, and a member of the Association for the Defence of Women in Kurdistan. Roya Tolouie is a doctor in laboratory science, a writer and the editor of a monthly magazine, Rasan. READ MORE

She was arrested on August 1 along with several others, following a peaceful sit-in to demand the release of prisoners following the recent events in Mahabad, the trial of those who ordered and those who opened fire on peaceful demonstrations in the cities of Kurdistan, and respect for the human and national rights of the Kurdish people. Her husband visited her in prison on 18th August (when she was transferred to the general detention centre, where many other prisoners are held), but her children have not been allowed to do so.

We are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of these and other Kurdish political prisoners in Iran. Specifically we wish to draw attention to the situation of Roya Tolouie and her colleagues in the different human rights organisations, including Edjlal Ghavami, Said Saedi, Madeh Ahmadi and Azad Zamani, arrested on the same occasion. We condemn unreservedly the behaviour of the Iranian judicial authorities in relation to political prisoners.

We demand that the United Nations and the International Red Crescent should be given access to the notorious prisons of the Islamic Republic to ascertain the health of all political prisoners there. We also call for the release of Roya Tolouie along with other human rights activists imprisoned on political grounds.

Kurdish Women’s Rights Watch,
London 30th August 2005


Dr. Roya Toloui, a champion of the rights of Iran’s Kurdish minority and of women was detained from her home in Sanandaj on August 2. She is reported to be facing charges of "disturbing the peace" and "acting against national security." ’Human Rights First’ is calling for her immediate and unconditional release from detention.