Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Iran arrests women's activist: report

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran has arrested a journalist and women's rights activist for writing articles on "discriminatory laws" for women in the Islamic republic, a press report said on Tuesday.

"Maryam Hosseinkhah, journalist and women's activist was arrested on Sunday," the reformist Sarmayeh newspaper said.

"She was issued with a one-billion-rial (107,000 dollar) bail, which she could not afford and so was taken to prison," her lawyer, the Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi, was quoted as saying.

Iran has stepped up arrests of rights advocates and unionists in the past year, detaining prominent figures including labour leader Mansour Osanloo and prisons' activist Emadeddin Baghi.

"The revolutionary court told Hosseinkhah she was accused of propaganda against the system and spreading lies by publishing false news on Zanestan and Change-For-Equality websites," the report said.

Hosseinkhah, who also works for the reformist daily Etemad, was a regular contributor to the feminist website Zanestan and Change-For-Equality, an initiative targeting Iran's "discriminatory" laws against women.

Several women have been jailed for their involvement in the campaign which started a petition dubbed "One Million Signatures," to change laws by collecting signatures online and in person.
Hosseinkhah had also taken part in a June 2006 protest in a Tehran square against Iranian laws in marriage, child custody and divorce for women.

Seventy people were arrested in the protest, which was broken up by the police, who were accused of beating up women, and several have been handed jail terms.

Young women's rights activist Delaram Ali was sentenced to 30 months in jail for taking part in the demonstration but the judiciary suspended the sentence at the last minute.


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# posted by International@jomhouri.com @ 8:20 AM
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