Iran suspends sentence of women's rights activist

[JURIST] Iran temporarily suspended the sentence of women's rights activist Delaram Ali [advocacy profile; personal blog] Monday for two weeks while officials decide whether to review her case. Despite leniency pleas from seven leading human rights organizations [joint press release], Ali was set to begin a sentence [JURIST report] of 34 months in prison and 10 lashes Saturday. Ali was sentenced for her part in a 2006 demonstration [JURIST report] where she and other activists protested Iranian laws that discriminate against women. She had been out on bail, but her pending appeal was recently dismissed and Iranian authorities ordered [JURIST report] her to begin serving her sentence. Charges of abuse [arrest photos] that Ali had brought against police were also dismissed.

The demonstration Ali took part in was intended to help collect one million signatures [advocacy website] protesting Iran's interpretation of Sharia law [BBC backgrounder], which has been held to require a woman to obtain her male guardian's permission to work or travel, to prohibit women from serving as judges, and to give a woman's testimony only half the value of a man's. Ali was officially charged [Iranian penal code, PDF] with "acting against national security" and "advertising against the system," as were other activists present. Five other women activists involved in the demonstration were given jail terms of up to a year, with suspended sentences of up to three years. RFE/RL has more.



 

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