I don’t have any comment on this besides the obvious.

On March 4, more than 33 women were arrested in the capital Tehran. They began a hunger strike on March 6 in Tehran’s Evin prison.

Most of the detainees are in good health but some of them are in a bad condition. Parvin Ardalan’s multiple sclerosis has worsened. Shahla Entesari, who is kept in solitary confinement, is suffering from high blood pressure. Rezvan Moghaddam has shingles, and her skin is now very painful. The disease is caused by a hidden virus that flares up in situations of high stress. The condition of Mahnaz Ahmadi who was sick before the events has worsened.

Eight of them were released after two days of arrest, but Nasrin Afzali has called her husband, expressing distress because the authorities refuse to bring in a physician. The women who objected were allegedly violently beaten and taken to the criminal’s ward of Evin Prison.

They were detained while gathering outside a courthouse to demand a fair trial for five prominent women’s rights activists [who themselves were arrested after peacefully protesting for women’s rights–story here] whose court was convening at the same place. The women held up banners outside the revolutionary court, saying: “We have the right to hold peaceful protests.”

The women arrested were protesting about the trial of five women’s rights activists who were the organizers of a demonstration last June. The five women have been charged with endangering national security, propaganda against the state, and taking part in an illegal gathering.

Amnesty International has called for the immediate and unconditional release of the activists. Amnesty believes the arrests may be meant to deter activists from marking International Women’s Day on March 8.

Full story here. The Amnesty report is here.

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