The "Feminist School
" website has reported that Iran's greatest living poet, Simin Behbahani, was banned this morning from leaving Tehran. Behbahani had been invited by the mayor of Paris to celebrate International Women's Day at a ceremony in Paris, where she was due to speak.
Behbahani has said that she had prepared a speech about feminism and a poem about women, but at the airport two security agents took her passport away, interrogated her for several hours, and then told her to pick up her passport at the revolutionary court.
In recent years a number of Iranian women's rights activists have been banned from leaving the country, including activist Narguess Mohammadi, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, and others.
One prominent activist, Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani, has produced a video report about well-known women who have been banned from leaving Iran in recent months (link to the report
, in Persian).
The "Feminist School" website said that this is the first gift given by the Iranian authorities on the occasion of International Women's Day to a prominent representative of Iranian women.
Ahead of the International Women's Day today, Human Rights Watch
called on Iran to stop violating women's rights and take immediate steps to meet the demands of Iranian women for full equality.