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Front Line statement to UN Human Rights Council
On the occasion of the fourth session of the UN Human Rights Council,held in Geneva between 12 March and 5 April 2007, Front Line has issued a statement on on the dangers to human rights defenders in Iran and Uzbekistan Iran and Uzbekistan
Human Rights Defenders - Too Dangerous For Human Rights
Front Line the International Foundation For the Protection of Human Rights Defenders was established to provide urgent protection to human rights defenders at risk. Front Line is concerned that while the the Human Rights Council debates the situation in Iran and Uzbekistan behind closed doors – on the ground, human rights defenders risk imprisonment, torture and even their lives.
Will the HRC seriously address the issue of the dangers to HRD in Iran and Uzbekistan?
On 4 March thirty-three women were violently arrested in Tehran – their offense - taking part in a peaceful protest against discriminatory legislation. The arrests were planned to ensure that there were no demonstrations to mark International Women's Day. While in prison they went on hunger strike and on their release a number of the women claimed that they had been ill treated.
These arrests are only the latest in a long pattern of harassment in breach of Article 27 of Iran's constitution.
In the words of Fariba Dovouidi Mohajer a prominent writer and human rights defender from Iran
“I have faced unrelenting persecution for many years on account of my actions against and criticisms of the Iranian government's practices.
The first time I was arrested was in March 2001 I was arrested at my home, beaten and verbally abused. I was detained in solitary confinement for forty days in a men's prison and denied access to my lawyer. Since this date I have been summoned on 8 separate occasions to appear before the Revolutionary Court”.
In the same week we received further details of the continued misuse of psychiatric treatment in Uzbekistan to punish human rights defenders.
Mutabar Tadjibaeva, one of the country's most prominent human rights defenders was arrested on her way to Dublin to attend the 3rd. Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders. She has since been transferred to the psychiatric section of a women's detention centre to punish her for speaking out against prison conditions and the treatment of detainees.
According to Mutabar's daughter Mahliyo akramova “Yesterday, I learned that my mother was beaten up in run-up to the holiday (8 March),” “I’ve come to Tashkent for the sixth time now and I have to leave without seeing her. I experience many difficulties while travelling between Margilan and Tashkent with my baby. But no-one cares.”
“She is often placed in an isolation cell, which is used for punishment purposes. They invent some reasons, and torment her mentally and physically,” said Mutabar’s Tajibayeva’s brother Rasul ...........as soon as I leave my sister is placed in an isolation cell and then they tell her that I am to blame that she is treated so badly,”
In a note passed to her relatives recently, Tajibayeva wrote: “May they not forget me. When I was starting my struggle, I knew what I was going to face. I very much love my homeland and my people. It is this patriotism that has kept me alive… I want to prove what an Uzbek woman is capable of.”