Friday, October 31, 2008

American-Iranian student in solitary confinement in Iran

Gholamreza Momeni, in an interview with Rooz Online expressed deep concern about her daughter's wellbeing.

Esha Monein is a graduate student at the School of Communications, Media and Arts at California State University, Northridge, and an active participant of the 1 million campaign signature collection in support of basic women's rights in Iran, said his efforts to ensure the safety and freedom of her daughter has been ineffective so far.

"We have not been able to do a thing. They simply won't answer. They keep saying go away. We will call you as soon as her interrogation is over". He nevertheless expressed his hopes that Iranian officials would realize the misunderstanding concerning her daughter and set her free.

"In any case, when a student, institutions or even an organization wishes to have social activities, it should be supported by the government, and not be imprisoned for trying to improve situations. My daughter was a volunteer and was helping people. My daughter returned to Iran for her thesis. She had interviewed respected and known people in the society. All exchanged contents and comments have been already released publicly in the media. The subject was about women and women's rights. Neither the questions posed not the content replied has been out of the unusual framework permitted in the media. It was concentrating on women's rights' was Mr. Momeni's comments n his daughters charges.

"I believe Iranian officials have to face the issue concerning women's rights one day.
There is a lot to be defended here. Is it right to imprison some one for talking about his rights and the rights of his kind? Women's right is not a political issue. It has nothing to do with regime change! It is not a political issue" expressed Mr. Momeni emphasizing on her daughters principles on civil rights.

" I am ashamed of this situation and that I live in this country under these conditions. I have served this country for years. It is 10 am and I still am engaged on Esha's situation. Her mother is in a wreck. Is there no justice?' exclaimed Mr. Momeni.

As Mr. Momeni highlights the effect of Esha's arrest on other people around them he says "The effect has been simply this: I and many of my colleagues have opened a new interest on the issue concerning women. Women's issues are not to be dodged. Imagine a lady having married a madman. And later when she wishes to divorce the madman, who would support her? It would be practically impossible for her to divorce the Guy.! So it turns out that, if my daughter has such concerns she has to go to prison! My daughter had a good life in the US, but her hear beats with Iran and her fellow Iranians and their problems. Is it fair to treat her like this? If someone tries to produce a University documentary about social problems so that even government officially could use to develop the issues, should she be arrested? This kind of research would have to finally be done at the expense of the government, while she is doing it now foe them.'

Esha's father asks; "why should anyone be arrested for having a camera? She was not loose in public places taking photos. On the contrary, she had taken shots of people with a prior agreement. Why is there no comprehension of charges before any one is arrested without notice in this country? My daughter has not committed any crime to be imprisoned for it. I had no intention of talking to the media, because I was hopeful that officials would realize the misunderstanding and release my daughter. But unfortunately this is what happens" you are suddenly faced with a sudden search and confiscation of your belongings! My daughter lives with her parents. Why have they poured into our house with no notification and searched our house? My wife was seriously hurt in the raid and my other daughter had to leave school for a couple of days for the shock she received. Is this how they should treat citizens whose hear beats for the sake of their country's well fare? We have under gone a revolution in our country and it is time that things follow legal procedures here. They surge some one while he is driving then it turns out that they are themselves members of the security forces. If the case is judicial, then they should summon her for the court. The normal legal procedure of questioning and self defense in the court would guarantee that both sides have had their rights preserved.

Mr. Momeni while expressing deep concern of his daughter's well being in solitary confinement said "Any statement made by my daughter in solitary confinement is void of any credibility. Talking under stress and fear has no validity. Mr. Ahmadinejad who claims to defend Freedom, had gone to the US and spoke out. Did his reflections hurt the US? On the contrary, everyone praises the US democracy. Now my daughter has interviewed a couple of civil right activists as a researcher, but she is sent to prison. Is there any justice in this? Where is justice?

Mr. Momeni stressed that her daughters concerns are his and said: We should re think over women's issues. They should talk to spiritual leaders here and solve the problems.
It is not right to allow all rights for men and none for women. My daughter is saying the same thing. What I leaned from my daughters arrest is that our government should take women's issues seriously. It is nit a good idea to imprison the one who is trying to point to shortcomings that have to be looked over. This is not good for the Islamic Republics image! Where is Islamic justice?

Esha Momeni, producer and photographer, student activist on women's issues and a volunteer of the 1 million signature campaign. She was arrested in Modaress highway on 15 October by the camouflaged police. She was illegally arrested. Her car was stopped for speed, but she was transferred to 209 Evin prison ward. Before she was arrested, her house was searched and her belongings had been confiscated, which included her computer, the films she had recorded for her theses.

Her parents approached the Court to clarify her situation after 5 days. They were told not to approach the court any more until her interrogations are over.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, declared Esha's arrest illegal. Mr. Dadkhah officially declared in the "Equality" Internet site, that she is representing the Momeni family for Esha. "As far as I have been told by the family, Eshas arrest has been for filming for a University thesis. According to article 23 f the Constitution, photography and taking film of public places which are not listed as illegal does not constitute a crime and therefore is subject to inquiry prior to any attempt for guilt. The aforementioned films had been taken in homes of the subjects interviewed, which does not fit the category of public places and buildings.

Being a member of the Human rights society, Mr.Dadkhah said; "Iran has accepted the general framework of the Human Rights charter. Article 27 of this Charter reiterates that no government can, under the pretext of respecting its own rules, undermine internationally respected rules. According to basic civil rights mentioned in the charter, and article 3 of Nations rights in the constitution, guarantees individual freedoms of citizens. Therefore this arrest is illegal and in violation of all international covenants" .

Hassan Ghashgaii, spokesman for Foreign affairs said in a press conference, on Monday 27 October 2008; "Institutions concerning this issue are following up the persons arrest, the foreign office has not yet received any news of the investigation so far."

1 comment:

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