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Iranian Feminist Advocate Arrested For Second Time

Iranian women’s rights advocate Zeinab Peyqambarzadeh was arrested for the second time yesterday when she reported to the Revolutionary Court for a summons issued for her participation in a June 2006 women’s rights protest. Peyqambarzadeh and 20 to 30 other feminist activists were arrested following a peaceful rally outside the Revolutionary Court last June, where they called for women’s rights in Iran, including the reform of divorce, custody, and polygamy laws. Peygambarzadeh reported to the Revolutionary Court for a summons yesterday.

Dozens of Iranian feminist protestors have recently been charged with disturbing the public order and conducting subversive activities as part of the Iranian government’s attempts to crack down on feminist advocacy. Many of the arrested women actively participate in the Change for Equality campaign, which aims to end discrimination against Iranian women, and have signed the One Million Signatures petition calling for equal rights for women.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Iranian women’s activist Shirin Ebadi promotes the Change for Equality campaign. According to the Nobel Women’s Initiative, she said of the arrests, “I am shocked to hear of these sentences. Campaigning to end discriminatory laws should not send a woman to jail. Working to build an equal society is building human security, not threatening national security.”

Peyqambarzadeh is being held in the notorious Evin Prison because her family cannot afford to pay the approximately 20,000 euro bond, according to the Change for Equality Campaign.

Sources:

Change for Equality 5/7/07; Nobel Women's Initiative 4/25/07; Feminist News Wire 4/27/07, 4/23/07