Iran: Two female journalists detained for online articles

English PEN protests the detention of journalists and women’s rights defenders Maryam Hosseinkhah and Jelveh Javaheri on 18 November 2007 and 1 December 2007 respectively for their articles posted online. 


According to Amnesty International, Hosseinkhah and Javaheri, were arrested when they reported to a branch of the Revolutionary Court in the capital, Tehran, for questioning. Their colleagues in a women’s rights campaign, ‘Campaign for Equality’, report that they have both been accused of ‘disturbing public opinion’, ‘propaganda against the system’ and ‘publication of lies’ in connection with articles posted on the Internet.

Campaign for Equality aims to collect a million signatures in support of an end to legislation which discriminates against women. Hosseinkhah is one of the editors of the campaign’s website (, and Javaheri is a regular contributor of articles to the site. Javaheri has also written extensively on women’s issues elsewhere. Hosseinkhah is a member of the Women’s Cultural Centre, a women’s organisation founded in 2001 to promote women’s human rights in Iran.  Several days before her summons, the website of the WCC was shut down on the orders of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the Judiciary.


Both women are detained in Section 3 of Tehran’s Evin Prison, an open section which is used to hold those convicted of non-violent crimes and where other women’s rights activists were previously held.


Please send appeals:


  • Protesting the detention of journalists and women’s rights defenders Maryam Hosseinkhah and Jelveh Javaheri, solely for their online writings in support of women’s rights;

  • Calling for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

  • Seeking guarantees of their well-being, and urging that, whilst detained, they are granted access to their lawyers, family and any necessary medical care. 




Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street


Islamic Republic of Iran

(Salutation: Your Excellency)


Head of the Judiciary

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

Ministry of Justice

Panzdah Khordad (Ark) Square,


Islamic Republic of Iran.

Fax: 98 21 3390 4986

(Salutation: Your Excellency)


Minister of Intelligence

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie

Ministry of Intelligence,

Second Negarestan Street,

Pasdaran Avenue,


Islamic Republic of Iran

(Salutation: Dear Minister)


Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
C/o Office of the Deputy for International Affairs
Ministry of Justice,
Ministry of Justice Building,

Panzdah-Khordad (Ark) Square,

Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 98 21 5 537 8827 (please keep trying)

(Salutation: Your Excellency) 


Copies to:


His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Presidency,

Palestine Avenue,

Azerbaijan Intersection,


Islamic Republic of Iran

Fax: 98 216 649 5880

(Salutation: Your Excellency)              


It may be most effective, however, to send the above appeals via Iran’s representative in London:


His Excellency Mr Rasoul Movahedian

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran

16 Prince’s Gate

London SW7 1PT

Fax: ( 44)(0)20 7589 4440

(Salutation: Your Excellency)


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