Maryam Bahreman

Amnesty International has issued a statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Maryam Bahreman, an Iranian women’s rights activist in Shiraz.

The human rights organization reports that Bahreman was charged with “propaganda against the regime, insulting the leader, acting against national security, participation in demonstrations and publishing falsehoods” on July 5, after being arrested last May in Shiraz.

The report adds that Bahreman was held in Shiraz by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and was only moved to the general women’s ward two weeks ago, after which she was finally allowed to contact her family.

Amnesty International urged the public to protest against Bahreman’s arrest by writing letters to: Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader; Mohammad Javad Larijani, the head of Iran’s Human Rights Council; and Zabihollah Khodayari, the head of the justice department in Fars Province.

A few days before her arrest, Bahreman had published a letter addressed to opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard on her personal weblog, part of a supportive letter-writing campaign initiated by the opposition.

In it, Bahreman had expressed her wish for “better days” and described her objective in writing as “being part of the symbolic movement to give thanks to Mousavi and Rahnavard for their resistance after the ominous coup and to protest against their house arrest.”

The opposition has referred to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the 2009 presidential election as a “coup d’etat” because it claims the result was rigged in his favour by security and military forces.

Amnesty International also calls for the release of other women’s rights activists including: “Mahboubeh Karami, Alieh Eghdamdoost, Fatemeh Masjedi, Zeynab Bayzidi, Ronak Saffarzadeh, Pegah Ahangarani, Mahnaz Mohammadi, Maryam Majd and Hengameh Shahidi.”