Pendant (94-10): Kurdpa’s Weekly Report on Women’s Issues in Kurdistan and Iran

Kurdpa: This week’s Pendant report consists of one case of female suicide in Kurdistan and updates on the conditions of two female political prisoners in other parts of Iran.

Kurdistan: Woman commits suicide in Sardasht

A woman from Sardasht ends her life by jumping into Shalmash Waterfall.

According to reports published, on July 6, 26 year-old ‘Z.N.’, a Kurdish woman from Sardasht ended her life by jumping into Shalmash Waterfall in the outskirts of Sardasht, a city in Wurme (West Azerbijan) province of East Kurdistan.
N. Z, from Sardasht ends her life by jumping into Shalmash Waterfall

According to the information available to Kurdpa, the motive behind her suicide are not clear yet. Activists and women’s rights organizations, however, report that familial and societal pressures on women are among the top factors of suicide among woman in the region.

Based on the data compiled by Kurdpa, two women have committed suicide since June 21.

Farideh Shahgoli was released from Evin Prison after 11 month of imprisonment.

According to published reports, Farideh Shahgoli was released from prison on July 6, after serving out 13 months of her sentence, utilizing the article 134 of Iran’s new Penal code.

According to Reporters Without Borders, Farideh Shahgoli, a German-Iranian netizen, was to serve out a three-year term for anti-regime publicity and insulting Ali Khamenei by way of content on her Facebook page.
Farideh Shahgoli was released from Evin Prison after 11 month of imprisonment

Having lived in Germany for 25 years, she was arrested in 2011 during a visit to relatives in Iran. Shahgoli, a former 1980s political prisoner, was once again arrested in May 22, 2014, after following up with his case with Evin Prison’s Prosecutor’s Office.

Days before her re-arrest, she wrote an open letter to President Hassan Rohani in which she described the painful conditions she had endured in prison. “Held in solitary confinement for 50 days, I was under constant pressure to confess...The interrogator wanted me to acknowledge being the source of a caricature or of insults sent by other people to my pages; people whose identities were clearly well known to my interrogators. The judge unfortunately knew nothing about social media. He did not want to understand that I was not the source of insulting content on my Facebook page.”

Sajedeh Arabsorkhi, released from prison

According to news reports, Sajedeh Arabsorkhi was released from Evin Prison on Wednesday, July 8, after serving out her one-year sentence.

Following her return to Iran from France in 2013 to visit her ailing father, Feyzollah Arabsorkhi, the former deputy trade minister under the reformist President Mohammad Khatami and a leader of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO), she was arrested and charged by two agencies.
Sajedeh Arabsorkhi was released from Evin Prison on Wednesday, July 8, after serving out her one-year sentence

In the first case against her, she was tried in absentia at Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court by Judge Moghisei and was sentenced to one year in prison.

The Intelligence Division of the Revolutionary Guards opened the second case against her, also accusing her of propaganda against the regime. On July 8, 2014 Sajedeh Arabsorkhi began a one-year sentence at Evin Prison.

On August 30, 2014, Arabsorkhi wrote an open letter from prison, stating that the reason she’d been arrested was to scare Iranian expatriates from returning to Iran. “Every day a judicial or security authority discusses convictions in absentia to keep our youth — our investments for a better Iran — in foreign countries and allow the corrupt and the power-hungry to have the country to themselves,” she wrote.

“But I, prisoner number 242211 of the women’s ward at Evin Prison, say loudly that if I was given the chance to go back one year ago and decide whether or not to come to Tehran, I would hold my head high and do the same again, even if the Guards’ interrogator welcomed me at the airport and took me straight to prison.”

Writing by Kurdpa Staff Writers, translation by Kajal Mohammadi and editing by Hazhir B.

Kurdistan Press Agency, Kurdpa
Human Rights Activists News Agency, HRANA
Reporters Without Borders