On June 12, 2006, 70 Iranian women’s rights activists were arrested for helping to organize a peaceful protest demanding the revision of discriminatory laws against women in Iran. Those arrested continue to be summoned, charged, arrested and sentenced for peaceful activism.
Alieh Eghdam Doust will begin serving out a three year prison term on Monday. She is the first protestor to serve a jail sentence. Many of the 14 women arrested in 2006 have been sentenced but their cases are under appeal or have been suspended.
Eghdam Doust’s original sentence was three years and four months in prison and 20 lashes. The sentence was reduced to three years by an appeals court.
The lawyer for Nafiseh Azad, noted Iranian women’s rights activist has comfirmed that police detained Azad while she was collecting signatures for the award-winning “One Million Signatures” campaign that seeks equal rights for women in marriage, divorce and inheritance.
According to Women’s Learning Partnership, Iranian women are fighting “gender apartheid:”
“At present, men have the sole right to divorce and except in special cases, the right to custody of children. One man’s testimony equals that of two women. And certain positions, such as that of a judge, are closed to women. The campaign is a continuation of Iranian women’s century-long struggle for gender equality”
For more information about the “One Million Signatures” campaign, visit their website and this excellent NPR piece.
Sign on to support the One Million Signature campaign.
Sign the petition to release the women’s rights activists.
Urge Iranian authorities to Women Human Rights Defenders through Human Rights First.