Thursday, April 26, 2007

Women Charged with Threatening Iran's National Security

Four women's rights activists were sentenced to prison last week for their role in organizing the June 12, 2006 peaceful protest demanding equal rights for women. The activists are organizers of the "One Million Signatures" Campaign launched in August 2006 to demand an end to discriminatory laws against women. They were officially charged under article 610 of the penal code with "actions against the state" and threatening "national security," which is an unprecedented move in Iran.

Fariba Davoudi Mohajer was sentenced to four years in prison, three of which are suspended and one needs to be served. Parvin Ardalan and Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani were sentenced to three years, of which two and a half years are suspended and six months are to be served. Sussan Tahmasebi received a two-year sentence, of which one year and a half are suspended and six months are to be served.

Human Rights Watch has a photo essay featuring short bios of the detained women's rights activists.

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