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Human Rights Commissioner outraged at the arrest of Maryam Majd

29.06.2011 - Press release

The Iranian sports journalist and women’s rights activist Maryam Majd was arrested in Tehran a few days ago just before her planned trip to Germany.

Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (29 June):

“Maryam Majd wanted to report on the Women’s World Cup in Germany. It can be no coincidence that Ms Majd, who has publicly campaigned for women to be allowed to participate in sporting events, was arrested by Iranian security forces on the eve of her planned trip to Germany.
Rather, this is yet another sad example of intimidation and persecution of women’s rights activists by the Iranian regime. The well-known Iranian filmmaker and women’s rights activist Mahnas Mohammadi was arrested on 26 June. What is more, the whereabouts of the women’s rights campaigners Maryam Bahrman, Mansoureh Behkish and Zahra Yazdani, who have all disappeared during the last few weeks, is still unknown.
I condemn any form of persecution of persons who have campaigned under the most difficult conditions for human rights to be respected. The groundless arrest and disappearance of women’s rights advocates is not acceptable.
I call for the immediate release of Maryam Majd and all other detained women’s rights activists and call on the Iranian Government to finally adhere to the human and civil rights obligations it has undertaken to respect.”


During the last few months, the Iranian regime has taken stronger action against women’s rights activists in the form of intimidation, arrests and convictions.
Maryam Majd, an Iranian sports photographer and journalist officially accredited to report on the Women’s World Cup, disappeared the day before she was due to travel to Germany.

The Iranian constitution provides for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. However, the Iranian authorities regularly disregard these constitutional principles.

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