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Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

in classrooms." 131 Gholamali Naderi, Director of Iran's Ministry of Science has spoken positively of single sex educational institutions." 132 Critics are concerned that the government is using relatively superficial matters such as the merits of single sex education (and debates over campus dress code) as pretexts to distract civic-minded university students from addressing larger political issues on campus.133

3.1 Discrediting the Leadership

The regime's goal - to dismantle the women's rights movement - was made clear at the beginning of August 2009 when the first indictment in a series of mass show trials was read. Basically a road map of the regime's targets, it alleged that the "velvet revolution" was designed with "three arms"-intellectual, media and executive.134 The executive arm is allegedly made up of six subgroups, one of which is the women's:

The women's subgroup is composed of several different factions. The most important leaders of these factions are Mrs. Shadi Sadr and Mrs. Shirin Ebadi. These factions are mainly in touch with Dutch NGOs who finance the activities of these campaigns and groups. There is another faction under the leadership of Parvin Ardalan - daughter of Ali Ardalan, leader of the National Front. Nooshin Hamedani [sic] Khorasani is the leader of another faction which has leftist inclinations and is part of this group.135

The indictment alleges two types of connections. The first links women's rights lawyers and activists, such as Ebadi and Sadr, to alleged interventionists outside Iran . The second links women's rights activists to opposition political parties within Iran . The allegations in the indictment reminded many women of those made by Mohseni-Ejei after he was appointed head of the Ministry of Intelligence at the start of Ahmadinejad's presidency in 2005.136 His announcement was followed by an intense crackdown on civil society activists, including women's rights activists. Asieh Amini, a leading women's rights activist recalls:

When I saw the indictment on the post-election events, it seemed like an extension and continuation of what had been said five years earlier by Mohseni-Ejei […] I remember when I was interrogated years earlier in November 2007 and I argued with my interrogator about this same exact point […] I told him that [the women's rights activists] were not trying to start a soft revolution because it would not serve our purposes and the resulting instability would make things worse in Iran.137

[131] See comments to the Iran Labour News Agency (ILNA) on December 14, 2009. Az Izdivaj-i Dukhtaran-i Danishamuz Khushhal Mishavam [Marriage of High School Girls Will Make Me Happy], ILNA, December 14, 2009, available at http://www.ilna.ir/newstext.aspx?ID=95665. [132] On May 22, 2010, he reported that six requests have been approved for single sex universities and that the universities will be accepting students for the fall 2010 semester. He stated that, "when sexual stimuli have been maximized amongst the youth, mixing them at the university causes the education of the students to suffer." Aqaz-i Tarh-i Tak Jinsi Shudan-i Danishgahha [Beginning of the Single Sex Plan for the Universities], Rooz Online, May 22, 2010. Tak Jinsi Kardan-i Danishgahha dar Guftugu ba Maryam Behrouzi [Discussion with Maryam Behrouzi about Single Sex Universities], Asre Nou, November 24, 2009, available at http://www.asriran.com/fa/pages/?cid=91596.
[133] See Asieh Amini's comment to Deutsche Welle at Tafkik-i Jinsi Talashi barayih Kunturul-i Danishgah-hast [Sexual Segregation Is an Attempt to Control the Universities], Deutsche Welle, March 6, 2010, available at http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5643277,00.html.
[134] See Matn-i Kamil-i Kayfarkhast-i Muda'ialumum Alayhih Mutahamin-i Prujihyih Shikastkhurdihyih Kuditayih Makhmali [Complete Text of the Indictment of the Prosecutor General Against the Accused of the Failed Velvet Coup], Fars News Agency, August 1, 2009, available at http://www.farsnews.net/newstext.php?nn=8805100944 [See www.iranhrdc.org for a paginated translation]; see also IHRDC report Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran, February 2010, pages 76-81, available at http://iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/reports.htm.
[135] See Matn-i Kamil-i Kayfarkhast-i Muda'ialumum Alayhih Mutahamin-i Prujihyih Shikastkhurdihyih Kuditayih Makhmali [Complete Text of the Indictment of the Prosecutor General Against the Accused of the Failed Velvet Coup], Fars News Agency, August 1, 2009, available at http://www.farsnews.net/newstext.php?nn=8805100944 [See www.iranhrdc.org for a paginated translation].
[136] See supra note 65.
[137] IHRDC Interview with Asieh Amini (June 11, 2010) (on file with IHRDC).

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Sexual Violence, Gender Rights, Death Penalty, Political Killings, Executions, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Travel Restrictions, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Illegal Search and Seizure, Free Speech, Right to Protest, Protests, Free Association, Child Rights, Political Freedom, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination