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16th July 2019, 15:06:24 UTC

Women’s rights activists jailed for protesting forced veiling laws in Iran.

Three women’s rights activists in Iran, Monireh Arabshahi, Yasaman Aryani and Mojgan Keshavarz have been detained since April 2019 with no access to a lawyer. They were arrested for a video of them on a train on International Women’s Day without head scarfs, distributing flowers to female passengers and expressing their hopes for women’s rights in Iran.

They have been charged with serious offences simply for peacefully protesting against Iran’s degrading and discriminatory forced veiling laws.

Following her arrest, Yasaman Aryani spent the next nine days in solitary confinement. During this time, she was subjected to intense interrogation sessions without a lawyer.

During their indictment hearing. The women were denied access to a lawyer again. They report abuse from the judge. He told them, “You all appear to be [drug] addicts” and “I will make you all suffer”. Charges against them include “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “inciting and facilitating corruption and prostitution” through promoting “unveiling”, in connection to their campaigning against abusive forced veiling laws. Yasaman Aryani is facing an additional charge of “insulting Islamic sanctities”. Monireh Arabshadhi’s support of workers’ rights was also cited as “criminal” activity.

Take urgent action calling on the Head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi to release these courageous activists and stop criminalising women human rights defenders.

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