IRAN.— Women’s rights activist and journalist Faranak Farid, was arrested by plainclothes officers on 3 September 2011 upon leaving her home on an errand in Tabriz.
Allegedly, her charges were, “Insulting the Supreme Leader”, “Propaganda against the Islamic Republic regime”, and “Acting against national security”.
Faranak Farid is a member of the Azerbaijani minority in Iran, a poet, and the editor of the women’s section of the banned monthly journal, Dilmaj.
She is also a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, also known as the Campaign for Equality. The One Million Signatures Campaign, a grassroots movement created in 2006, is a network of people, particularly women, campaigning to end discrimination against women in Iranian law.
Dozens of activists involved with the campaign have been arrested and harassed for their role in promoting the movement.
During her arrest, Farid is reported to have been assaulted and beaten by the officers. As a result of the beating, her arm was severely injured and her left eardrum was damaged, she has possibly lost hearing in her left ear.
Despite her requests for access to a doctor, Faranak Farid is not known to have received medical care.
According to several reports, Faranak Farid was interrogated extensively by the Tabriz Ministry of Intelligence agents shortly after she was detained. During the interrogation her glasses were taken from her and she was forced to sign a document that she could not read.
She is now being held in the women’s quarters of Tabriz Central Prison.