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Iran Releases Most Detained Women’s Rights Activists

Iran released all but three women’s rights activists who were detained on Sunday for peacefully protesting the imprisonment of four other activists. More than 30 protestors were arrested for gathering outside Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, where four other women were on trial that morning for protesting Iran’s laws that discriminate against women. The four women are facing multiple charges, including “acting against national security” for organizing a June 2006 women’s rights protest.

The eight youngest activists who were arrested on Sunday were released earlier this week without charges, Human Rights Watch reports. All except three of the remaining women were released from Tehran’s notorious Evin prison today, International Women’s Day, on bails ranging from $11,000 to $55,000, the Associated Press reports. Before their release, the arrested women started a hunger strike, and at least one woman was held in solitary confinement, according to Human Rights Watch.

According to the AP, the released women were ordered to not attend an International Women’s Day rally scheduled for today outside the Iranian parliament. The families of two other activists were visited by Iranian officials and asked to sign pledges that the women would also avoid the International Women’s Day demonstration, the BBC reports.

Iranian officials have not explained why the remaining three activists were not released, AP reports.

TAKE ACTION If women’s rights activists in Iran cannot march today, then we will! Join our online virtual march and sign our online petition now

LEARN MORE Visit Human Rights Watch for photos and biographies of 26 of the imprisoned Iranian women’s rights activists

Sources:

HRW 3/7/07; BBC 3/8/07; AP 3/8/07; Los Angeles Times 3/8/07; Feminist Daily News Wire 3/6/07

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