Saturday, December 28, 2013

Women of Evin: Ward 209

Freedom House, 1301 Conneticut Ave., NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036
"All the nameless prisoners of conscience in Iran want is to stand up for their rights without being threatened,” stated Leila Milani at an event hosted by Freedom House to discuss her translation of Jila Baniyaghoob's book Women of Evin: Ward 209. The memoir documents Baniyaghoob's time in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, where she and other activists were detained for their participation in a women’s rights protest. Milani was joined by RFE/RL Persian journalist and broadcaster Kambiz Tavana in a discussion that ranged from the use of white torture in Evin prison to the broader political climate in Iran. When asked their opinion about US economic sanctions on Iran, both speakers expressed their concern that “those who are not the intended targets will be the ones who suffer.”
featuring Leila Milani, the book’s translator, and Kambiz Tavana, Editor of Radio Farda.
Moderated by: 
Daniel Calingaert, Executive Vice President of Freedom House

See photos from the event.

In Women of Evin: Ward 209, Jila Baniyaghoob lifts the curtain on what transpires behind the closed walls of Evin, Iran’s notorious prison, as prisoners of conscience, women’s rights activists and journalists are locked away and shut out from the rest of the world.  Whether in the interrogation rooms or solitary cells of Evin, women and men, young and old have to come to grips with not only their own human condition and limitations of hunger, exhaustion, loneliness, fear and resilience, but with the type of justice and human rights standards that dictate their immediate future and the future of their fellow countrymen. In this short memoir, Baniyaghoob captures the resilience of incredible women whose commitment to the advancement of women’s rights in Iran has strengthened their resolve to withstand inhumane conditions and to make clear that asking for equality should not be deemed a government offense or an act of revolution.

Leila Milani, JD, MA - Leila has worked on the promotion and protection of human rights at the State Department, Congress, the White House and the UN. Over the past decade she has worked on the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act in the United States, chaired the National Working Group on the Ratification of CEDAW in the United States, and engaged in advocacy efforts focused on the human rights violations in Iran. Currently, Leila is an independent consultant and works on a variety of initiatives dealing with international human rights issues, but her primary focus is on Iran
and women’s rights. Currently, she is the co-founder and executive director of Iran Rooyan. Leila holds a law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law and a Masters in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.

Kambiz Tavana: Kambiz is a journalist and radio broadcaster with RFE/RL Persian at Radio Farda.  While living in Iran he worked with newspapers such as Hamshahri  Shagh and Etemaad, covering various socio-political and cultural issues. He began working for RFE/RL in 2006 and covers Iranian politics and society. He is based in Washington DC.

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