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REYHANEH JABBARI WAS EXECUTED

REYHANEH JABBARI WAS EXECUTED

International Committee Against Execution Press Release

25 October 2014

To the millions of people who followed the fate of this young girl, to the thousands who took to the streets to save dear Reyhaneh, to the thousands of mothers in Iran who shed tears and begged for forgiveness on the media, we sadly have to report that Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed this morning.

This is a horrific piece of news on this bloody Saturday, when people are set to come out on the streets in the cities across Iran to protest against the acid attacks on women. We hope that a magnificent protest by the people today will be a fitting response to this brutal and shameless crime of the Islamic regime in Iran.

The Islamic regime’s ideologues, its professional criminals and murderers, the real killers of Sarbandi (whom Reyhaneh was accused of killing), all banded together and despite an enormous international outcry executed this young woman. They put Reyhaneh under pressure in prison, extracted confessions, filmed the scenes and then killed her. This is the regime of Iran’s ISIS.

The execution of Reyhaneh and the many years of dealing with the judicial system of the Islamic Republic over the fate of Reyhaneh showed to the world the hideousness and viciousness of this regime and its judicial system.

Let everyone see the kind of monsters the people of Iran are dealing with. Let the world see that the one skill the heads of the Islamic regime, from the supreme leader to Rafsanjani, the president Rouhani, the paramilitary force Sepah and the Ministry of Intelligence, have in common is this: murder, lying and barbarity.

Millions of people see this now. The regime lied to the grieving parents of a young girl who for seven years fought to save their loved one; they spread rumours and did everything they could to stop Reyhaneh’s parents from saving their daughter.

Even before telling Reyhaneh’s family that they had killed Reyhaneh, they callously announced the news of the execution through their state media, while Reyhaneh’s mum and dad, sister and grandma were waiting outside the prison gates.

This is the abhorrent regime of the Islamic Republic. This is the regime of Islamic criminals, the ISIS ruling Iran.

If they don’t kill, how are they going to deal with others like Reyhaneh? How are they going to deal with the youth shaking the ground under the feet; those who don’t give a damn for the mullahs, Islamic leaders and the loathsome Islamic Republic?

But the regime in Iran should be certain of this: by killing Reyhaneh, they will only harvest a storm.

The International Committee against Execution calls on all to turn the sorrow and pain of the loss of Reyhaneh to public rage against the foundations of the murderous Islamic regime.

Reyhaneh Jabbari’s stay of execution We must keep the pressure on

Reyhaneh Jabbari’s stay of execution We must keep the pressure on

Reyhaneh Jabbari’s lawyer, Mohmmad Ali Jadari Foroghi, has said that Reyhaneh’s name has been removed from the execution list and her file is scheduled for review. The worldwide protest in support of Reyhaneh has forced a review of her case and brought the unfair and corrupt judiciary system of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the attention of international public opinion.

26 year old Reyhaneh Jabbari has been in prison for the past 7 years for stabbing a man attempting to rape her. She was forced to confess under torture and threats to her family. She has suffered unbearable mistreatment in the hands of a system that has been insistent on sending a young girl to the gallows until now.

Reyhaneh has lived under the shadow of death for far too long. She must be immediately released and any charges against her quashed.

To find out more about her case and help keep the pressure on, and join over 200,000 people who have signed a petition calling for an end to Reyhaneh’s execution and her freedom.

 

To sign the petition supporting Rayhaneh, click here.

Save Rayhaneh Jabbari from execution by hanging

Save Rayhaneh Jabbari from execution by hanging

Iran: Save Rayhaneh Jabbari from execution by hanging

Reyhaneh Jabbari is now 26 years old and has been in Tehran’s dreaded Evin prison since 2007.

In July 2007 she was alone inside a coffee shop and was speaking on her phone about architecture and design. Morteza, a physician and a former employee of the feared Iranian Intelligence Services, overheard the conversation, approached her and asked for her expertise in order to renovate his office. The afternoon of 7th of July 2007, Morteza made an appointment with Reyhaneh for business purposes.

Reportedly, Morteza stopped his car at a pharmacy on the way to the appointment. It was later discovered he bought condoms. Then they went into the apartment and Morteza closed the door. Morteza approached her and demanded to have sex with her; he had already made some drinks for her. Forensics analysis found that the drink he intended to serve to Rayhaneh contained sleeping aids and sedatives. Reyhaneh did not allow him to rape her, therefore he asked her several times to have sex with him but Reyhaneh resisted. During this time she felt threatened and scared.

Fearing imminent rape, she took a knife out of her bag and stabbed Morteza at the back of his right shoulder. Morteza died due to heavy bleeding.

An interrogator went to the apartment and made a report. At that time Reyhaneh clearly stated to the investigator that she was innocent, that she had met Morteza a week earlier, and that said she killed him only in self defence.

“The evening I was there, I knew that he wanted to rape me, so because of self defence I stabbed him and escaped,” she said.

Reyhaneh explained that she had to defend herself: “Two and half months before the crime, I saw the doctor and his friend, at that time my phone was ringing, so I picked up the phone and was speaking to one of my friends about the decoration, and design, and the doctor’s friend realized that I was an interior designer.”

She added: “Morteza’s friends came closer and got my contact number to ask help to design a private health centre. After a couple of days, the doctor’s friend’s calls started and thereafter Morteza himself called and invited me to visit the flat, which was supposed to be converted to private health centre. The time was 6:15 that evening when I reached there, and I found Morteza looking suspicious. I was so worried and anxious so, I decided to take out the knife and I stabbed his right shoulder. Believe me, I just wanted to be safe, that is why I did it, because I had no other choice. The same day, Reyhaneh was sentenced, and the decision was confirmed by the Supreme Court.

Now, any moment it is possible for her to be hanged. Fitnah calls on groups and individuals to step forward and stop her execution.

In Iran men and women, including some minors, face execution everyday for some 131 offenses punishable by death under the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some of these crimes include adultery, theft, homosexuality, drug possession and political dissidence. Iran hangs more people per capita than any other country in the world, Since President Rouhani’s election; there has been a sharp increase in executions. Trials in Iran fall short of International standards and the majority of those hanged did not even have access to a lawyer, jury, or even evidence.

To sign the petition supporting Rayhaneh, click here.

The Law Society must withdraw its guidance on Sharia-succession rules

The Law Society must withdraw its guidance on Sharia-succession rules

We, the undersigned, are appalled to learn that the Law Society, the representative body for solicitors in England and Wales, has issued Sharia-related guidance on wills, succession and inheritance.

The guidance says:

“Certain principles of Sharia are different to English succession laws. For example, it is not possible to inherit under Sharia rules via a deceased relative. No distinction is made between children of different marriages, but illegitimate and adopted children are not Sharia heirs.

“The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class. Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognised. Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir, as the entitlement depends on a valid Muslim marriage existing at the date of death”.

Whilst not binding, the guidance legitimises rules which are highly contested by many Muslims themselves and which discriminates against Muslim women, non-Muslims, and ‘illegitimate’ and adopted children. The guidance seriously undermines the Equality Act, citizenship rights and one law for all.

Since individuals are already free to dispense of their estate as they see fit (as long as they provide for their dependants) such guidance unwittingly aids and abets Islamist attempts at subverting democratic laws and principles with a de facto parallel legal system where minority women and children have increasingly fewer rights than other citizens.

This scandalous guidance is similar to that which Universities UK published endorsing gender segregation at universities in Britain. UUK was promptly forced to withdraw its guidance after widespread condemnation.

We call on the Law Society to immediately and unequivocally withdraw its guidance.

Ahlam Akram, Founder and Director of Basira for Universal Women Rights
Ahmed Idris, Member of Lawyers’ Secular Society
Ali al-Razi, Ex-Muslims Forum Administrator
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Egyptian Activist
Amina Sboui, Tunisian Activist
Behzad Varpushty, Activist
Caroline Fourest, Journalist
Charlie Klendjian, Secretary of Lawyers’ Secular Society
Chris Moos, Secretary of LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Christopher Roche, Chair of Bath Atheists, Humanists and Secularists
Elham Manea, Author
Fariborz Pooya, Founder of Iranian Secular Society
Farzana Hassan, Former Director of Muslim Canadian Congress and Writer
Fatou Sow, Senegalese Sociologist
Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space
Harold Kroto, Nobel Prize Winner
Ibrahim Abdullah, Muslimish
Imad Iddine Habib, Founder and Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco
Jackie Jones, Professor of Feminist Legal Studies, Chair of Wales Assembly of Women and President of European Women Lawyers Association
James Bloodworth, Editor of Left Foot Forward
Julie Bindel, Writer
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist
Kiran Opal, Writer and Human Rights Activist
Lalia Ducos, Head of Women’s Initiative for Citizenship and Universal Rights
Lawrence M. Krauss, Physicist and Author
Lisa-Marie Taylor and Julian Norman, Co-Chairs of Feminism in London
Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of One Law for All and Fitnah
Mersedeh Ghaedi, London Spokesperson of Iran Tribunal
Mina Ahadi, Coordinator of the International Committee against Stoning and Execution
Nadia El-Fani, Filmmaker
Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President and co Founder of Stop Child Executions
Nina Sankari, President of the European Feminist Initiative in Poland
Omar Kuddus, LGBTI / Human Rights Advocate and Director of GayAsylumUK
Pat Black, Immediate Past President of Soroptimist International GBI
Patty Debonitas, Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity
Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Raheel Raza, President of Council of Muslims Facing Tomorrow
Reza Moradi, Political Activist
Richard Dawkins, Scientist
Rouhi Shafii, Executive Director of International Coalition Against Violence in Iran
Safia Lebdi, Conseillère Régionale EELV and présidente des Insoumises
Salil Tripathi, Writer
Sarah Haider, Co-Founder of Ex-Muslims of North America
Shelley Segal, Singer and Songwriter
Soad Baba Aissa, Head of Association pour la mixité, l’égalité et la laicité en Algérie
Sohaila Sharifi, Women’s Rights Activist
Soraya Chemaly, Writer and Activist
Sue Cox, Co-Founder Survivors Voice Europe
Syed Raza, Director of Forum for Learning
Tarek Fatah, Founder of Muslim Canadian Congress
Taslima Nasrin, Writer
Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner


To support the campaign calling for the Law Society’s withdrawal of its discriminatory guidelines, please sign the Lawyers’ Secular Society’s petition.

There will be a symbolic protest action on Monday 28 April at 5pm. More details to follow.

For more information, contact:
Gita Sahgal, Centre for Secular Space,

gita@centreforsecularspace.org,

http://www.centreforsecularspace.org/

Maryam Namazie, One Law for All

onelawforall@gmail.com

www.onelawforall.org.uk

07719166731

Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters

pragna@southallblacksisters.co.uk

http://www.southallblacksisters.org.uk/

07985399740


 

Iran Stoning Case Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Given Leave

Iran Stoning Case: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Given Leave

Iran Stoning Case: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Given Leave

Iranian mother of two, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who had been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and later given a 10-year jail term instead due to public outrage has been allowed to leave prison, a judiciary spokesman said. Larijani, head of the judiciary, told Fars News Agency that “Ms. Ashtiani’s case was the source of four months of widespread attacks against the regime… this individual was sentenced to death for murder but the international groups began a controversial campaign over it…. we did not pay much attention to those efforts…. we are letting her out simply for good behaviour.” Ms. Ashtiani was the subject of one of the largest international campaigns initiated by International Committee Against Executions and International Committee Against Stoning by their founder, Mina Ahadi, who was contacted by Ms. Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh.

“I initially received a phone call in 2006 from a man asking for help because his mother was going to be stoned to death in Iran. In 2010 I received yet another frantic call from Sakineh’s son, who informed me that his mother was going to be stoned in two days; that is when we started campaigning very strongly for her all around the globe,” said Ahadi in a telephone interview from Germany.

Larijani said that the decision was a sign of “our religion’s leniency towards women”. There was no immediate word on whether the release was permanent or whether it was subject to some form of probation.

In October 2010, Ms. Ashtiani’s son, along with her lawyer, Mr. Houtan Kian and two German reporters, who were seeking an interview with the prisoner, were arrested by Iranian Intelligence agents. Mr. Houtan Kian was accused of “acting against national security” and subjected to tortures, such as being repeatedly burned with cigarettes on his genitals, until he made a televised confession. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison along with being barred from practicing law for five years. Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, who had also been subjected to torture, was later released along with the journalists, who were charged for failing to attain press permits and were detained for a few months inside one of Iran’s prisons. Mr. Houtan Kian was freed three years later on August 20, 2013.

“Although I have not heard from Sajjad yet,” Ahadi said, “I am sure he is simply overjoyed about his mother’s pardon; he went through horrible times for years trying to free his mother.”

End Ban on Female Fans in Iran; Stadiums for All

End Ban on Female Fans in Iran; Stadiums for All

Today, over 130 distinguished signatories are calling for “Stadiums for All” and an end to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 34-year ban on female fans in the run-up to the June 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Signatories to the open letter include Alda Facio, Founder and First Director of the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice at the International Criminal Court; Amel Grami, Professor at the Tunisian University of Manouba; Amina Sboui, Tunisian Activist; Åsa Dahlström Heuser, President of the Secular Humanist League of Brazil; Fatou Sow, International Director of Women Living Under Muslim Laws; Fereydoon Farahi, Singer and Musician; Harold Walter Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Hassan Zerehi, Journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Shahrvand Newspaper; Jean-Claude Pecker, Astronomer and Former Director of the Nice Observatory; Lawrence Krauss, Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist; Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue; Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of One Law for All and Fitnah; Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and Execution; Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Human Rights Activist; Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan; Richard Dawkins, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science; Shadi Sadr, Human Rights Lawyer; Shahyar Ghanbari, Iranian Lyricist, Songwriter and Singer of Persian Pop Music; Siba Shakib, Author and Steven Weinberg, Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physic. The ban on women in stadiums is yet another example of gender segregation and discrimination against women. For many years now, women in Iran have opposed the ban, including by issuing petitions, organising meetings and protests at stadiums and even risking arrest by dressing as men in order to circumvent the prohibition. This open letter aims to gather further support for women and men in Iran opposing gender segregation and for stadiums for all. The full list of signatories to the open letter can be found below. To support Stadiums for All, please sign the petition here and Tweet: #IRWomenStadium. The ban on female fans in Iran must end. And it must end now.

کارزار “استادیوم برای همه”

امروز بيش از ١٣٠ نفر از شخصيت هاى سرشناس ايرانى و غير ايرانى، از فعالين حقوق زن٬ نويسندگان و هنرمندان، کارزار ” استاديوم براى همه” به منظور پايان يافتن به ٣۴ سال ممنوعيت ورود زنان به استاديوم هاى ورزشى در ايران را، اعلام مى کنند.

از جمله امضا کنندگان اين کمپين عبارتند از: الدا فاسيو،(Alda Facio ) مؤسس و اولین انجمن زنان برای عدالت جنسیتی در دادگاه جنایی بین المللی؛ آمل گرامى،( (Amel Grami پروفسور دانشگاه مانوباى در تونس؛ آمينا سابويى، Amina Sboui ) )، فعال زنان در تونس؛ آسا هيوسر، ( Åsa Dahlström Heuser)، رئيس سازمان اومانيستهاى سکولار؛ فاتو سوو، (Fatou Sow )، مديرسازمان بين المللى زنان تحت قوانين اسلامى؛ فريدون فرهى، (Fereydoon Farahi )، خواننده وهنرمند؛ هارولد والتر کروتو، (Harold Walter Kroto )، برنده جايزه نوبل در شيمى؛ حسن زرهى، (Hassan Zerehi )، روزنامه نگار و مدير مسئول شهروند کانادا، ژان کلاود پکر، (Jean-Claude Pecker)، ستاره شناس و مدیر سابق رصدخانه نايس؛ لارنس کراوس، ( Lawrence Krauss)، فیزیکدان و کیهان شناس، ماريمه لوکاس؛ (Marieme Helie Lucas )، بنيانگذار سازمان سکولاريسم موضوع زنان است؛ مريم نمازى، ( Maryam Namazie)، سخنگوى فتنه – جنبش براى رهايى زن و يک قانون براى همه؛ مينا احدى، ( Mina Ahadi )، سخنگوى کميته بين المللى عليه اعدام و سنگسار؛ نازنين افشين جم، (Nazanin Afshin-Jam )، فعال حقوق بشر و بنيانگذار جمعیت انقلابی زنان افغانستان؛ ريچارد داوکينز، (Richard Dawkins )، بنياد علم و عقل؛ شادى صدر، (Shadi Sadr )،وکيل حقوق بشرى؛ شهيار قنبرى، (Shahyar Ghanbari )، شاعر، ترانه‌سرا، آهنگساز؛ زيبا شکيب، (Siba Shakib)، نويسنده و فيلمساز؛ ستفان وين برگ، (Steven Weinberg )، فیزیکدان و برنده جایزه نوبل در فیزیک. ليست کامل فراخوان دهندگان کارزار در زير آمده است.

در ایران تحت حاکمیت حکومت اسلامی، زنان از ورود به ورزشگاهها براى تماشاى مسابقات محرومند. اين يک نمونه بارز از تبعيض جنسيتى و تحقير و توهين به زنان است. مردم ایران این آپارتاید جنسی را نمی پذیرند. بویژه سالها است زنان در ايران عليه اين محدوديت و تبعيض آشکار٬ مبارزه ميکنند. هزاران امضا عليه ممنوعيت ورود زنان به ورزشگاه در ايران جمع شده و ميتينگهای اعتراضی متعددی در مقابل استاديوم هاي ورزشي در ایران برای ورود زنان به ورزشگاهها از سوی زنان برپا شده است.

ما با اعلام این کارزاراز مبارزات برحق زنان در ایران دفاع کرده و خواهان لغو فوری ممنوعیت ورود زنان به ورزشگاهها هستیم.

در آستانه مسابقات جام جهانى فوتبال ٢٠١۴ برزيل که در ماه ژوئن برگزار مى شود٬ ما خواهان “استادیوم برای همه” هستيم.

به سی و چهار سال ممنوعیت ورود زنان به استادیوم های ورزشی در جمهورى اسلامى ایران باید خاتمه داد!

ما از همگان دعوت میکنیم این طومار اعتراضی را امضا کنند.

براي امضا اين تومار اعتراضي لطفا به سايت زير مراجعه کنيد! Tweet: #IRWomenStadium

فتنه – جنبش براى رهايى زن ١٦ ژانويه ٢٠١۴ – ٢٦ دى ١٣٩٢ www.fitnah.org
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ممنوعيت ورود زنان به ورزشگاهها در ايران بايد ملغى شود! استادیوم‌برای همه!

مردم ايران عاشق فوتبالند. رژيم اسلامى مانع ورود زنان به استوديوم ها ميشود. تعدادى از زنان علاقمند به فوتبال٬ در مواردى با پوشيدن لباس مردانه وارد استوديوم ها ميشوند. اين زنان اگر لو بروند٬ مورد آزار و اذيت ماموران حکومتى قرار گرفته و يا حتي دستگير و جريمه ميشوند. بدليل اعتراضات گسترده در ايران عليه اين موضوع٬ رييس فيفا (فدراسیون جهانی فوتبال) مساله محرومیت زنان از استادیوم‌ها را با مقامات رژیم مطرح کرد.

در آستانه مسابقات جام جهاني فوتبال در برزيل که در ماه ژوئن ۲۰۱۴ است٬ ما خواهان استادیوم برای همه هستيم. به سى و چهار سال ممنوعیت رژیم اسلامی به ورود زنان به استادیوم های ورزشی باید خاتمه داد!

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End Ban on Female Fans Stadiums for All Iranians are football crazy but women are banned from entering football stadiums. Some circumvent the rules by dressing as men to gain entry. Those found out are harassed, fined and detained. As a result of widespread protests, the FIFA President raised the issue of women at football matches. In the run-up to the June 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, we call for football stadiums for all. The Islamic regime of Iran’s 34-year ban on female fans must end. * * * * * Endet das Verbot für weibliche Fans Stadien für alle Iraner sind fußballverrückt, Frauen aber sind in Fußballstadien nicht zugelassen. Einige umgehen dieses Verbot, indem sie sich als Männer verkleiden, um in die Stadien zu kommen. Die die erwischt werden, werden schikaniert, verurteilt und inhaftiert. Aufgrund der weitreichenden Proteste hat der FIFA-Präsident sich jetzt der Sache von Frauen bei Fußballspielen angenommen. Im Vorfeld der FIFA-Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft im Juni 2014 in Brasilien fordern wir Fußballstadien für alle. Das Verbot des islamischen Regimes im Iran für weibliche Fans muss ein Ende haben. * * * * * Arrêt de l’interdiction de stade pour les supportrices ! Les stades pour tous et toutes ! Les Iraniens et les Iraniennes sont fous de football, mais les femmes sont interdites d’entrer dans les stades de foot. Certaines détournent la loi en s’habillant en hommes pour pouvoir entrer. Celles qui se font prendre sont harcelées, condamnées à une amende et emprisonnées. Suite à de fortes manifestations, le président de la FIFA a abordé la question des femmes lors des matchs de foot. Dans le contexte de la coupe du monde de la FIFA de juin 2014, nous appelons à l’ouverture des stades de foot pour tous et toutes. Il faut mettre fin à 34 ans d’interdiction par le régime islamique d’Iran pour les supportrices! Signatories 1. Afsaneh Vahdat, Central Committee Member of Children First Now 2. Ahlam Akram, Basira – for Universal Women’s Rights 3. Alberto Hidalgo Tuñón, Professor of Philosophy and Humanist Laureate 4. Alda Facio, Founder and First Director of the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice at the International Criminal Court 5. Amel Grami, Professor at the Tunisian University of Manouba 6. Amina Sboui, Tunisian Activist 7. Angela Payne, Coordinator of Anti-Injustice Movement 8. Anissa Helie, Academic 9. Annie Sugier, President of Ligue du Droit International des Femmes 10. Åsa Dahlström Heuser, President of the Secular Humanist League of Brazil 11. Austin Dacey, Writer 12. Babak Yazdi, Executive Secretary of Khavaran Association and Political Activist 13. Bahram Soroush, Political Activist 14. Behzad Varpushty, Activist 15. Bill Ligertwood, Kamloops Centre for Rational Thought 16. Caroline Fourest, Writer 17. Charlie Klendjian, Secretary of Lawyers’ Secular Society 18. Chris Moos, Secretary of LSE SU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society 19. Christopher Roche, Activist 20. Daniel C. Dennett, Philosopher, Writer and Cognitive Scientist 21. Dario Picciau, Filmmaker 22. Darren Johnson AM, Green Party London Assembly Member 23. David Silverman, President of American Atheists 24. Dilip Simeon, Chairperson of the Aman Trust 25. Edward von Roy, Blogger 26. Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of Secular Coalition for America 27. Elham Manea, Academic 28. Elia Tabesh, Activist 29. Esam Shoukry, Spokesperson of Defence of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq 30. Fabio Patronelli, Artist 31. Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, Founder of Global Secular Humanist Movement 32. Farida Shaheed, Shirkat Gah 33. Fatou Sow, International Director of Women Living Under Muslim Laws 34. Fauzia Viqar, Shirkat Gah 35. Fereydoon Farahi, Singer and Musician 36. Gabi Schmidt, Activist 37. Ghulam Mustafa Lakho, Advocate at Supreme Court of Pakistan 38. Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space 39. Glenys Robinson, Writer 40. Greta Christina, Blogger 41. Harold Walter Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 42. Hartmut Krauss, Social Scientist and Author 43. Hassan Zerehi, Journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Shahrvand Newspaper 44. Helen Nicholls, Activist 45. Horia Mosadiq, Women’s Rights Campaigner 46. Houzan Mahmoud, Spokesperson of the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq 47. Ibrahim Abdallah, Organiser of Muslimish NYC 48. Imad Iddine Habib, Founder and Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco 49. Inna Schevchenko, Spokesperson of FEMEN 50. Jacek Tabisz , President of Polish Rationalist Association 51. Jacques Rousseau, South African Free Society Institute 52. Jalil Jalili, One Law for All Activist 53. Jamshid Hadian, Translator and Activist 54. Jean-Claude Pecker, Astronomer and Former Director of the Nice Observatory 55. Jérôme Maucourant, Lecturer in Economics at the University Jean Monnet Saint-Etienne 56. Jesus and Mo Cartoonist 57. John Perkins, President of Secular Party of Australia 58. Joseph Akrami, Cinematographer and Producer 59. Kacem El Ghazzali, Moroccan Blogger and Representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union at the United Nations in Geneva 60. Karl Karnadi, Founder of Indonesian Atheists 61. Kate Ligertwood, Kamloops Centre for Rational Thought 62. Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist 63. Katie Hickman-Grayling, Writer 64. Keyvan Javid, Editor of Zan-e-Azad 65. Khalil Keyvan, Director, New Channel TV 66. Laura Guidetti, Marea Review 67. Lawrence Krauss, Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist 68. Leo Igwe, Nigerian Humanist Movement 69. Lino Veljak, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Zagreb 70. Lionel Tiger, Charles Darwin Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University 71. Lloyd Newson, Director of DV8 Physical Theatre 72. Maria Hagberg, Coordinator of Network against Honour Related Violence 73. Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue 74. Mary Devery, Member of Terre des Femmes’ Working Groups on “Women’s Rights and Religions” and “Forced Marriages” 75. Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson for One Law for All and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation 76. Massimo Redaelli, International Representative of Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti 77. Mehrdad Amiri, Political Activist 78. Melody Hensley, Executive Director of Center for Inquiry (DC) 79. Meredith Tax, US Director of Centre for Secular Space 80. Mersedeh Ghaedi, London Spokesperson for Iran Tribunal 81. Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning and Executions 82. Mohamed Mahmoud, Director of Centre for Critical Studies of Religion 83. Mohsen Ebrahimi, Director of the Worker-communist Party of Iran’s Azerbaijan Committee 84. Monica Lanfranco, Editor of Marea 85. Mostafa Saber, Marxist Writer and Activist 86. Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain 87. Nasrin Almasi, Journalist and Women’s Rights Activist 88. Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Human Rights Activist 89. Nazanin Boroumand, Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany 90. Nina Sankari, European Feminist Initiative in Poland 91. Ophelia Benson, Writer 92. Patty Debonitas, Spokesperson of Iran Solidarity 93. Peter Tatchell, Director of Peter Tatchell Foundation 94. Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters 95. Rafiq Mahmood, Activist 96. Raheel Raza, President of Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow 97. Rahila Gupta, Writer 98. Reem Abdel-Razek, Activist 99. Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) 100. Reza Moradi, Activist 101. Richard Dawkins, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science 102. Roberto Malini, Writer 103. Rohini Hensman, Social Activist 104. Rumy Hassan, Academic 105. Russell Blackford, Writer and Philosopher 106. Safia Lebdi, Founder of Les Insoumis-es 107. Samir Noory, Chair, Committee for Abolishing Capital Punishment in Iraq 108. Shadi Sadr, Human Rights Lawyer 109. Shahla Daneshfar, Activist of Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation 110. Shahyar Ghanbari, Iranian Lyricist, Songwriter and Singer of Persian Pop Music 111. Shirin Mehrbod, Singer and Musician 112. Shirin Shams, Communist Youth Organisation 113. Shiva Mahbobi, Women’s Rights Activist and Spokesperson for Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran 114. Siamak Amjadi, Coordinator of Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation 115. Siamak Bahari, Activist 116. Siavash Modarresi, Writer 117. Siavash Shahabi, Communist Youth Organization 118. Siba Shakib, Author 119. Soad Baba Aissa, President of Association pour l’ Egalité, la Mixité et la Laicité en Algérie 120. Sohaila Sharifi, Women’s Rights Campaigner 121. Soraya L. Chemaly, Writer and Activist 122. Stasa Zajovic, Co-Founder and Coordinator of Women in Black 123. Steed Gamero, Writer 124. Steven Weinberg, Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physic 125. Stuart Bechman, President of Atheist Alliance International 126. Taher Djafarizad, President of Neda Day Association 127. Tanjir Sugar, Writer and Activist 128. Taslima Nasrin, Writer 129. Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society 130. Waleed Al Husseini, Palestinian Blogger 131. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Journalist 132. Zari Asli, Founder of Friends of Women in the Middle East Society For more information on the campaign, contact Mina Ahadi, Siamak Amjadi or Maryam Namazie at Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK. Email: fitnah.movement@gmail.com.

Survey on gender segregation at Universities in the UK

Survey on gender segregation at Universities in the UK

Fitnah, in conjunction with Southall Black Sisters and One Law for All, is conducting a survey as part of a research project investigating the nature and impact of segregation, specifically gender segregation, at universities in the United Kingdom.

If you have experienced gender segregation at a university, please take a few moments to respond to the questionnaire online: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/101896LDKHG by 31 March 2014. This research project is conducted in full compliance with the Ethics Guidelines of the Social Research Association. Your data will be treated as confidential and your participation will remain anonymous.

For more information about this research or to provide more in depth information, please contact: gendersegregationsurvey@gmail.com.

Thank you for your participation.

We will continue our fight against gender apartheid at universities

We will continue our fight against gender apartheid at universities

More than a 100 protestors rallied outside the office of Universities UK (UUK) to condemn their endorsement of segregation of the sexes and demand gender equality on 10 December 2013, International Human Rights Day. The rally was organised by Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, One Law for All and London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society.

The protest was in response to guidance issued by Universities UK (UUK) (a body representing UK universities) which said that external speakers can ask for segregation between women and men and it wouldn’t be discriminatory as long as “both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way.” They also said that refusing to segregate the hall may curtail the speakers’ freedom of expression!

The rally quickly followed an open letter signed by well-known personalities such as scientist Richard Dawkins and Music Producer Deeyah Khan condemning the endorsement of gender apartheid by Universities UK. The letter said that any form of segregation, whether by race, sex or otherwise is discriminatory. Separate is never equal and segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal. A petition opposing sex apartheid followed which has until now gathered over 9,000 signatories: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Universities_UK_Rescind_endorsement_of_sex_segregation_at_UK_Universities/

At the rally, Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters, said:
“For me, today is a particularly emotional moment. I stand here reminded of the heroic struggle waged against racial apartheid in South Africa, and yet find myself protesting against another form of apartheid that is also being justified with reference to that ubiquitous but flawed logic ‘separate but equal’. Who would have thought that in the 21st century, we would be protesting against policies adopted by institutions that should be in the business of producing and nurturing truth and knowledge, but which are instead endorsing the subjugation of one half of the human race? Who would have thought that in the 21st century, gender apartheid would become the new battleground?”

Maryam Namazie, co-organiser of the protest and Spokesperson for Fitnah and One Law for All added:
“Whilst people have an absolute right to their beliefs, they don’t have the right to manifest it when harmful or impose it on others, particularly not in a public space such as a university. Also, it is important to remember that Muslims are not a homogeneous group (many oppose sex apartheid) and gender segregation is a demand of the far-Right Islamist movement. It is ironic that whilst sex apartheid is challenged the world over, including by many Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa, UUK insists on endorsing it here. UUK must rescind its guidance immediately.”

Comedian Kate Smurthwaite said:
“The word equality has only one meaning. It’s not the back of the bus and it’s not the side of the lecture theatre. This is not about telling women who want to sit separately that they can’t. This is about allowing external speakers to demand that the audience be segregated.”

James Bloodworth, editor of Left Foot Forward, said:
“Opposition to gender segregation is an issue of fundamental freedom: people should be permitted to sit with who they like in a publically funded university. It’s also a question of politics, though: we shouldn’t pretend that those who wish to segregate men and women view us as equals. They don’t. They think women are little more than a temptation to men; and they view men as uncontrollable predators whose view of women is on a par with that of uncovered meat.”

Marieme Helie Lucas, a founder of Women Living Under Muslim Laws and Secularism is a Women’s Issue sent a solidarity message saying: “By bending to the Muslim Far-Right’s supposedly-religious diktats of segregating sexes on university premises, UUK also endangers further the women and men of Muslim descent – believers and unbelievers alike – who stand both against fundamentalism and against xenophobia and discrimination, in increasingly difficult circumstances.”

In another message of solidarity, Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Gender apartheid is as abhorrent as race apartheid. The people who approved this policy are unfit to hold any public office – and should resign. Universities once pioneered the Enlightenment and liberal, progressive values. Now, it seems, they appease misogyny and cave in to religious sexism and intolerance. The right of women and men to sit where they like is not negotiable.”

Other speakers at the rally included: Ahlam Akram, director of Basira; Charlie Klendjian, secretary of the Lawyers’ Secular Society; Georgi Laag, founder of London Atheist Activist Group; Sean Oakley, founder and former president of Atheist, Humanist and Secularist society; Helen Palmer, chair of the Central London Humanist Group; Abhishek Phadnis, President of the LSE Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society; Erin Saltman, Research Project Officer at Quilliam Foundation; and Anne-Marie Waters, Council Member of the National Secular Society. Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre at Oxford and an Imam at the Oxford Islamic Congregation was one of those who sent messages of solidarity.

Soon after the rally, which received widespread coverage, including when Prime Minister David Cameron intervened to oppose sex segregation at universities, UUK was forced to withdraw its guidance. Whilst this fight has been won, the battle continues particularly since sex segregation is still taking place at universities and UUK has said it hopes to redraft the guidance.

The Campaign against Gender Segregation at UK Universities will continue to press on until it is made very clear that there is no room for segregation of the sexes in public places like universities, including by organising teams of sex apartheid busters to break up gender apartheid at universities and hold a huge march against sex apartheid on 8 March 2014, International Women’s Day. We are also getting legal advice.

Below is some of the media coverage received so far:

Gender segregation guidelines u-turn following PM warning, Channel 4 News, 13 December 2013 [external news]

Universities pull back from sex segregation as Cameron weighs in, Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2013 [external link]

On the niqab, Community Channel, 13 December 2013 [external link]

Sexual apartheid: Is there any room for gender segregation, This Week, 12 December 2013 [external link]

A future labour government will ‘not tolerate’ gender segregation at our universities, Left Foot Forward, 12 December 2013 [external link]

Sex segregation at university debates is not okay, Care2, 30 November 2013 [external link ]

Outcry at ‘gender apartheid’ in new guidance for UK universities, The Independent, 11 December 2013 [external link]

University gender segregation ‘violation of women’s freedom’, BBC, 11 December 2013 [external link]

Backlash grows over university gender segregation guidelines, Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2013 [external link]

Gender Apartheid is real in UK universities so why aren’t more people fighting it? Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2013 [external link]

‘We will fight them like the suffragettes’: Protesters target Universities UK over sex segregation policy, Politics, 11 December 2013 [external link]

The segregation of women and the appeasement of bigotry at UK’s universities, The Spectator, 11 December 2013 [external link]

Sex apartheid in British universities deemed acceptable, Voice of Russia, 11 December 2013 [external link]

Gender Segregation protests against university guidelines, Channel 4 News, 10 December 2013 [external link]

Why we are protesting against gender segregation this evening, Left Foot Forward, 10 December 2013 [external link]

British universities shouldn’t condone this kind of gender segregation, Guardian Comment is Free, 26 November 2013 [external link]

For more information, contact:

Maryam Namazie
Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
One Law for All
maryamnamazie@gmail.com
077 1916 6731

Chris Moos
Secretary of LSE Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
c.m.moos@lse.ac.uk
074 2872 0599

End sex segregation at UK Universities

End sex segregation at UK Universities

24 November 2013

Universities UK (UUK) has issued guidance on external speakers saying that the segregation of the sexes at universities is not discriminatory as long as “both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way.” The guidance has been supported by the National Union of Students.

UUK add that universities should bear in mind that “concerns to accommodate the wishes or beliefs of those opposed to segregation should not result in a religious group being prevented from having a debate in accordance with its belief system” and that if “imposing an unsegregated seating area in addition to the segregated areas contravenes the genuinely-held religious beliefs of the group hosting the event, or those of the speaker, the institution should be mindful to ensure that the freedom of speech of the religious group or speaker is not curtailed unlawfully.”

We, the undersigned, condemn the endorsement of gender apartheid by Universities UK. Any form of segregation, whether by race, sex or otherwise is discriminatory. Separate is never equal and segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal. By justifying segregation, Universities UK sides with Islamist values at the expense of the many Muslims and others who oppose sex apartheid and demand equality between women and men.

The guidance must be immediately rescinded and sex segregation at universities must come to an end.

Join initial list of signatories below by signing the petition here.

Initial List of Signatories:

A C Grayling, Philosopher

Abhishek N. Phadnis, President, London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society

Anissa Helie, Academic

Charlie Klendjian, Secretary of Lawyers’ Secular Society

Chris Moos, Secretary, London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society

Deborah Hyde, Editor of Skeptic magazine

Deeyah Khan, Film Director and Music Producer

Dilip Simeon, Chairperson of the Aman Trust

Elham Manea, Author

Faisal Gazi, Writer and Blogger

Fatou Sow, International Coordinator of Women Living Under Muslim Laws

Gita Sahgal, Director, Centre for Secular Space

Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizen’s Web

Helen Palmer, Chair of London Humanists

Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist

Marieme Helie Lucas, Coordinator, Secularism is a Women’s Issue

Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson for One Law for All and Fitnah

Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning

Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker

Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Ophelia Benson, Writer

Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs of the British Humanist Association

Peter Tatchell, Director of Peter Tatchell Foundation

Polly Toynbee, Journalist

Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Richard Dawkins, Scientist

Rohini Hensman, Social Activist

Rory Fenton, President of The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies of the UK and ROI

Safia Lebdi, Founder, “Les insoumis-es”

Salil Tripathi, Writer

Soad Baba Aissa, President, of Association pour l’ Egalité, la Mixité et la Laicité en Algérie

Terry Sanderson, President of National Secular Society

Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner

 

*  There will be a protest in London on 10 December 2013, International Human Rights Day, to oppose sex segregation. You can join Facebook Events Page here.

 

* Teams of Sex Apartheid Busters are being organised to break segregation wherever it is instituted. To join email maryamnamazie@gmail.com

Stop Stoning Now

Stop Stoning Now

According to the Independent, two months ago, a young mother of two was stoned to death by her relatives on the order of a tribal court in Pakistan. Her crime: possession of a mobile phone. Arifa Bibi’s uncle, cousins and others hurled stones and bricks at her until she died. She was buried in a desert far from her village. It’s unlikely anyone was arrested. Her case is not unique. Stoning is legal or practised in at least 15 countries or regions. And campaigners fear this barbaric form of execution may be on the rise, particularly in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. You can find a list of death by stoning in Iran since 1980 compiled by the International Committee against Stoning here.

Sign a petition by Women Living Under Muslim Laws calling for an end to stoning. This particular campaign to end stoning follows the pioneering work of Mina Ahadi and the International Committee against Stoning over many decades.

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fitnah.movement@gmail.com