Zahra Rahnavard, one of the leaders of Iran’s Green Movement, who has been under house arrest along with her husband for eight years, has issued a statement calling on Islamic Republic rulers to free women prisoners on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, March 8.
Rahnavard, her husband Mir Hossein Moussavi and cleric Mehdi Karroubi, both presidential candidates in 2009, were put under house arrest in 2011 for rejecting the official outcome of the 2009 disputed elections when hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the presidential race.
In her statement Rahnavard called on the authorities to release well-known activists, such as Nasrin Sotoudeh, to show that they have no enmity with free-thinking women who strive for liberty.
She also urged the release of women who are workers, teachers or students, along with women belonging to the religious Dervish minority.
But in her statement Rahnavard says releasing female political prisoners is not enough “for the political development” of the country and reform of laws and the legal system to protect women’s economic and employment rights is essential.