Jailed Women's Rights Activist Needs Your Help
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.
Toloui's detention is consistent with a pattern of harassment and persecution that she and other human rights activists in Iran's Kurdish region have suffered in recent months in reprisal for their legitimate, peaceful activities in support of basic rights and freedoms.
There has been mounting unrest in Iran's Kurdish region since the presidential elections in late June, which saw the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a candidate closely identified with Iran's ruling clerical establishment. President Ahmadinejad is viewed as hostile to Kurdish aspirations for greater equality and respect for their distinct cultural and religious traditions. Roya Toloui is an outspoken critic of the policies of the Islamic Republic and its negative impact on the rights of women and religious and ethnic minorities. She and other human rights activists in Kordestan and West Azerbaijan provinces have been vocal in protesting a wave of repression unleashed on the region in recent weeks that has resulted in more than twenty deaths and hundreds of arrests of protesters. Regional magazines that reported on the unrest have been closed by the authorities, but information about continuing disturbances in the region continues to reach the outside world.
At this time of tension in Iran the role of independent human rights monitors is vital. Don't let the Iranian government commit human rights violations behind a cloak of secrecy. Please join Human Rights First in calling for the immediate release of Dr. Toloui and her colleagues.