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Iranian Feminist Activists Sentenced to Prison

Two Iranian women’s rights activists have been sentenced to jail for taking part in an “unauthorized” June 2006 rally for women’s rights. Fariba Davoudi Mohajer, a journalist, was sentenced in absentia to four years in prison (three of which have been suspended, according to The Scotsman). Sussan Tahmasebi, a board member for The Iranian Civil Society Organizations Training and Research Center (ICTRC) was sentenced to two years (with 18 months suspended, also according to The Scotsman). Both women have signed the “One Million Signatures” petition for the abolition of discriminatory laws in Iran.

The so-called “unauthorized” rally, where women protesters demanded equal rights and opportunity for women in Iran, was quickly disrupted by police. Reports vary on how many women were arrested that day — the Washington Post and BBC cite 20, while the Women”s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) notes 31.

Adnkronos International reports that the trials of women”s rights activists Shirin Ardalan, Zara Amjadian, and Elnaz Ansar have begun. Charged with”subversive activities,” Zara Amjadian is an activist for the”One Million Signatures” campaign, and Elnaz Ansar is a journalist. The Scotsman reports that Iranian intelligence minister Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei has called the women’s protests a “soft revolution” and a “new conspiracy” by the enemy.

Sources:

The Scotsman 4/19/07; AKI 4/19/07; Washington Post 6/12/06; WFAFI 6/12/06; We-change.org