Mourning Mothers

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The Mourning Mothers (also known as the Mothers of Laleh Park) are a group of Iranian women whose spouses or children were killed by government agents in the protests following the disputed Iranian presidential election of 2009.[1] The group also includes relatives of victims of earlier human rights abuses, including mass executions during the 1980s.[2] The principal demand of the Mourning Mothers is government accountability for the deaths, arrests, and disappearances of their children.[3] The mothers meet on Saturdays in Laleh Park in Tehran, and are often chased by the police and arrested.[1]

The Mourning Mothers have called for the revocation of death sentences for political prisoners, the release of prisoners of conscience, and trials of "those who were responsible for and who ordered their children's murders." [4] In 2009, Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi urged women around the world to show solidarity with the Mourning Mothers by wearing black and meeting in neighborhood parks on Saturdays from 7 to 8 pm.[5]

Arrests and imprisonment[edit]

On January 9, 2010, more than thirty Mourning Mothers were arrested by security agents at Laleh Park. According to eyewitnesses, the mothers were attacked by over 100 police and plainclothes agents, who violently forced the mothers into police vans.[3] These arrests were widely condemned by human rights organizations.[4] The mothers were released from prison on January 14, 2010.[6]

On December 27, 2011, group member Zhila Karamzadeh-Makvandi was arrested and sentenced to two years in Evin Prison for "founding an illegal organization" and "acting against state security". Amnesty International protested her imprisonment, designating her a prisoner of conscience "held solely for her peaceful activities as a member of the Mothers of Laleh Park".[7] On April 4, 2012, group member Mansoureh Behkish was informed she was sentenced[8] to four years' imprisonment for her activities with the group. Another member, Leyla Seyfollahi, and a male supporter, Nader Ahsani, were sentenced to two years' imprisonment apiece, but had not yet been summoned to begin their sentences.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Slackman, Michael (February 9, 2010). "Arrests by Iran Are a Bid to Quell Wide Protests". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Iran urged to quash prison sentence for 'Mourning Mothers' activist". Amnesty International. April 13, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Iran: 30 Members of Mourning Mothers Detained in Tehran". Payvand Iran News. January 10, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Iran's Mourning Mothers: "Stop The Executions"". Payvand Iran News. February 7, 2010.
  5. ^ "Ebadi Urges Solidarity With Iran's 'Mourning Mothers'". Radio Free Europe. July 20, 2009.
  6. ^ "Noushin Ebadi and Mourning Mothers Released From Prison". Ms. Magazine. January 15, 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Urgent Action: Human rights activist sentenced" (PDF). Amnesty International. April 13, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  8. ^ Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (April 13, 2012). "One Iranian human rights activist released, another sentenced to jail". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved June 16, 2019 – via