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Demand an End to the Repression of Human Rights Activists in Iran

Monday 11 August 2008, by admin

"It is a mistake to think that striving for women’s rights is fighting for the rights of only half of society." – Amir Yaghoub-Ali

Amir Yaghoub-Ali, a 21-year-old student and gender equality activist, will serve a one-year prison sentence unless his conviction is overturned.

Yaghoub-Ali is the first man to have been arrested in connection with the One Million Signatures Campaign, which calls for an end to gender discrimination in Iranian laws. To date, at least 44 members of the Signatures Campaign have faced harassment and prosecution at the hands of the authorities.

The crackdown on gender equality activists comes during a heightened climate of oppression against activists and human rights defenders of all kinds. Recent incidents include:

· statements in the government media disparaging Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. Ebadi, who heads the Association of Human Rights Defenders, has issued statements criticizing the recent rise in executions in Iran;

· the August 4 execution of Yaghoub Mehrnehad, a social activist from the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan, who had been critical of local government;

· the ongoing detention of a number of activists including leaders from the Baha’i community, women’s rights activists, student activists, and physicians working on HIV/AIDS.

Please call on the Iranian government to overturn the conviction of Yaghoub-Ali for his nonviolent activities in support of women’s rights, and to take immediate steps to halt the repression against other human rights defenders.

View online : human rights first

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