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16th July 2019, 15:06:24 UTC

Iranian women’s rights defenders, Yasaman Aryani and her mother Monireh Arabshahi, have each been sentenced to 9 years and seven months in prison on appeal on 5 February 2020. Mojgan Keshavarz remains imprisoned. They are all prisoners of conscience jailed solely because of their peaceful campaigning against discriminatory forced veiling laws.

Yasaman Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi, were originally sentenced to 16 years in prison, while a third, Mojgan Keshavarz, was been sentenced to 23 years and six months in prison in July 2019.

Yasaman Aryani, her mother Monireh Arabshahi, and Mojgan Keshavarz were detained since April 2019. They were arrested for a video of them on a train on International Women’s Day in 2019 without head scarfs, distributing flowers to female passengers and expressing their hopes for women’s rights in Iran.

They have been sentenced for “inciting and facilitating corruption and prostitution” through promoting “unveiling”, “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” and seven months for “spreading propaganda against the system”. Under Iran’s sentencing guidelines, they have to serve the lengthiest single sentence imposed for the most serious charge, which is five years and six months for “inciting and facilitating corruption and prostitution” through promoting “unveiling”.

Their lawyer has indicated that he will file a request for judicial review of their convictions and sentences.

Following their arrests, they were held in prolonged solitary confinement, which violates the absolute prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment under international law, and pressured to appear before a camera, “confessing” that foreign elements were behind their activism against forced veiling and “repenting” their actions.

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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