UA: 196/11 Index: MDE 13/063/2011 Iran Date: 23 June 2011
WOMAN DETAINED FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Iranian human rights activist, Mansoureh Behkish, was arrested on 12 June 2011. She is a
member of the ‘Mourning Mothers’ group, which campaigns against human rights violations such
as unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances. She is at risk of
torture or other ill-treatment.
Mansoureh Behkish, 54, was arrested by men believed to belong to the Ministry of Intelligence when they
recognised her in a street in Tehran, at 8pm on 12 June 2011. She is now held in Section 209 of Evin Prison. She
was able to make a short phone call to her mother two or three days after her arrest and again on 20 June, but could
not talk about the conditions of her detention. Mansoureh Behkish suffers from a neurodegenerative disease called
diffuse myelinoclastic sclerosis, or sometimes referred to as "Schilder's disease".
The 'Mourning Mothers' group mainly comprises women whose children have been killed, disappeared or detained in
post-election violence in Iran since June 2009, but it quickly grew to include relatives of other victims of human
rights violations and their supporters. Mansoureh Behkish has lost several members of her family who were executed
in the 1980s; since then she has been an activist and has been detained several times before.
Mansoureh Behkish was among 33 women from the 'Mourning Mothers' group arrested during their weekly meeting
in Laleh Park, Tehran, on 9 January 2010 and held for several days. On 17 March 2010, she was prevented from
travelling to Italy to visit her children and her passport was confiscated. She remains banned from travel abroad.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
Call on the Iranian authorities to release Mansoureh Behkish immediately and unconditionally if, as appears to be
the case, she is held solely for the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression, assembly and
Call on the authorities to ensure that she is protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and grant her
immediate and regular access to her family, lawyer of her choice and adequate medical care;
Urge the authorities to remove unlawful restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly in Iran.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 4 AUGUST 2011 TO:
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of
Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran,
Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: "Call on #Iran leader
@khamenei_ir to call for the immediate
and unconditional release of Mansoureh
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
[care of] Public relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street
Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In subject
line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Secretary General, High Council for
Mohammad Javad Larijani
High Council for Human Rights
[Care of] Office of the Head of the
Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave.
south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran
1316814737,Islamic Republic of Iran
(subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad
Salutation: Dear Sir
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.