Sunday, November 04, 2007

It is dangerous to be a woman and an activist in Iran

Kamagir posted this latest appeal:

Urgent Call for Action: Iranian Activist Woman in Imminent Danger

In an unprecedented and unexpected development Delaram Ali was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months and 10 lashing in appeals court…. Delaram was beaten severely during this protest, dragged on the ground by several police officers and subsequently arrested (see picture above). She suffered a broken arm as a result of these severe beatings. …

In her original trial Delaram was sentenced to 2 years and ten months prison term and 20 lashings, which was reduced to 2 years and 6 months and ten lashings in a ruling issued by the appeals court announced this morning. The courts have contacted Delaram in regards to implementing her sentence by the end of the week.

Iranian women’s rights defenders appeal to the national and international community to take swift action condemning the unjust ruling of the court in the case of Delaram Ali.

Martha Nussbaum is one of the few high-profile academics who has worked towards ameliorating the condition of women in the third world. As she says in her book, Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach

Women in much of the world lack support for fundamental functions of a human life. They are less well nourished than men, less healthy, more vulnerable to physical violence and sexual abuse. They are much less likely than men to be literate, and still less likely to have a pre-professional or technical education.”

“The aim of the project ["The Capabilities Approach"] as a whole is to provide the philosophical underpinning for an account of basic constitutional principles that should be respected and implemented by the governments of all nations, as a bare minimum of what respect for human dignity requires.”

Why is Nussbaum's voice not followed by the millions of feminists who live in freedom and can mobilize their collective power in order to appeal such treatment as Delaram Ali gets from her government? Why aren't there a hundred of Women Marches on the UN, on the White House, on the EU quarters, in front of Iranian embassies, demanding, insisting, that action be taken right away to put a stop to this constant and legally-sanctioned abuse? Where is the UN Human Rights Council at Geneva? Where is Louise Arbour?

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