From mothers to students to human rights activists, Iranian women have boldly taken steps for years to protest the inequalities and injustices they face in their country, sometimes even at the risk of their own lives.
TEHRAN (AFP)–An Iranian appeals court has upheld sentences against two women’s rights campaigners, their lawyer was quoted as saying Tuesday.
“A Tehran appeals court confirmed a one-year jail term and 35 lashes for Massoumeh Zia. The sentence will be suspended for five years,” Farideh Gheyrat was quoted as saying by the Kargozaran newspaper.
“The appeals court also upheld the six-month jail term and 10 lashes, which will be suspended for two years, for Marzieh Mortazi Langrudi,” she added.
Zia, 31, was arrested with 70 other people in a June 2006 demonstration in a Tehran square which was broken up amid reported police brutality. The protesters were demanding equal rights for women in divorce, inheritance and child custody.
Mortazi Langrudi, 55, was detained in March 2007 along with 32 other women outside a Tehran revolutionary court where five fellow feminists were standing trial for organizing the 2006 protest.
Several participants in both demonstrations have been charged with disturbing public order or harming national security and given jail terms, some suspended.
Iran has exerted mounting pressure on women’s rights campaigners over the past year. Earlier this month four activists were sentenced to six months in jail over articles on feminist Web sites.
It has also cracked down on women involved with a signature campaign that calls for change to Iranian laws deemed as discriminatory to women.
Gheyrat added that the appeals court sentenced a member of the teachers’ union, Ali Pour-Soleiman, to one year in prison and 35 lashes, which would be suspended for five years.
But the court commuted a three-year sentence against activist teacher Mohammad Hashemi to a 15-million-rial ($1,530) fine.
Dozens of teachers were arrested following March 2007 demonstrations, demanding higher salaries and accusing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of not keeping his election promises to spread wealth.