IRAN: Abuse of the Rights of Women

From:    William Bowles
Subject: IRAN: Abuse of the Rights of Women

6:27 pm  Sep 12, 1991
Source: Peacenet
(Fido:250/222) igc:aicoord
Artists and Writers: Iran


Mariam Firouz, a writer and translator in her mid-70s, was
arrested for her political activities on April 6, 1983. She
was held for over three years in pre-trial detention, often
incommunicado. She was tried in 1983 and sentenced to death,
but the sentence was later commuted. The precise charges on
which she was convicted are not known. At present she is
held in Tehran's Evin Prison and is in poor health.

Mariam Firouz was arrested with dozens of other leading
figures in the Tudeh Party of Iran, which was banned soon
after these arrests. The Tudeh Party was accused of plotting
with a foreign power, the Soviet Union, to overthrow Iran's
Islamic Government. Party leaders were tortured to force
them to confess to involvement in espionage and other
illegal activity.

Thousands of political prisoners, including many hundreds of
prisoners of conscience, were executed in the years
following the Iranian revolution. Some groups took up arms
against the Islamic leadership. The Tudeh Party, however,
continued to support the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini
until its dissolution.

Mariam Firouz was the President of the Democratic
Organization of Iranian Women. She contributed articles on
literature and women's issues to party newspapers, and she
translated numerous works of French literature into Farsi.
She holds a degree in French language and literature.

She was tried by an Islamic Revolutionary Court, whose
proceedings fell far short of international standards for a
fair trial, and sentenced to death in 1986, though the
sentence was later commuted. The precise charged on which
she was convicted are not known. she had no right to appeal
against the verdict or sentence, and throughout her
imprisonment she has been refused access to a defense
lawyer. She suffers from rheumatism and heart disease.

Amnesty International believes that Mariam Firouz to be a
prisoner of conscience, imprisoned for the non-violent
expression of her political views. It calls for her
immediate and unconditional release.

You Can Help:

Send courteous letters expressing concern at the
imprisonment of Mariam Firouz and calling for her
unconditional release.

Write to:

His Excellency Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Haskemi Rafsanjani,
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, The Presidency,
Palestine Ave., Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic
Republic of Iran

Iranian Interests Section, 2209 Wisconsin Ave., NW,
Washington, DC 20007