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Fatemeh Masjedi, Campaign Activist, Arrested

Saturday 29 January 2011


Change for Equality: Fatemeh Masjedi, Campaign activist, was arrested on Friday January 28, as she was on her way to Tehran from Qom. It is unclear who exactly arrested her and which government agency the arresting officers were affiliated with. Fatemeh Masjedi and Maryam Bidgoli had been sentenced to serve 6 months in prison due to their activities in relation to women’s rights and in the One Million Signatures Campaign by an appellate court. Their lawyers, arguing that activities in the Campaign were legal and other judges had found these activities legal, had approached the judiciary and requested a judicial review permissible under Article 18. The Task Force on Human Rights at the Judiciary and the Head of the Judiciary in the city of Qom were following up on this request. Despite these efforts Masjedi was arrested. Both Masjedi and Bidgoli had been served with summons by the Office of Implementation of Sentences, to turn themselves in for the purpose of starting their prison term. However by law, this office is required to serve summons to this effect three times, prior to initiating arrest. Fatemeh Masjedi was arrested after receiving such notice only once.

In objection to the sentences issued to these two women’s rights activists a group of Campaign activists issued a statement. The statement stresses the peaceful nature of the work of the Campaign and the fact that it is legal. The statement also addresses past court rulings with respect to other Campaign activists, claiming that no other Campaign activist has been sentenced to mandatory prison for their activities in the Campaign. The signatories of the statement called for the immediate suspension reversal of this sentence.

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