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Middle East
Female Iranian activist jailed
Court in Kurdistan region hands out six-year sentence for attending rallies.
Last Modified: 23 May 2007 18:50 GMT
Iranian women are increasingly
calling for their rights [AP]

A female activist has been sentenced to six years in prison by an Iranian court for attending two banned rallies and for "propaganda activity against the system".

Nasrin Sotoudeh, the lawyer acting on behalf of Roya Tolui, said on Wednesday her client took part in two peaceful rallies in 2005.
The ISNA news agency reported the two rallies were in front of the governor's office in the north-western town of Sanandaj in Iran's Kurdistan province and Sotoudeh said Toloui was found guilty by a court in the town even though Iranian law allowed peaceful protests.

ISNA did not give details on what the protests were about.

Numerous convictions

"Roya Toloui was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on the charge of attending the mentioned gatherings and one year's imprisonment on the charge of propaganda activity against the system," Sotoudeh told ISNA.

It was not clear whether Toloui was in the court when the sentence was announced or whether she was tried in absentia.

Last month, a court in Tehran handed down partly suspended prison sentences of up to four years against two female activists who attended a banned rally in the capital to demand greater women's rights, according to Iranian media.

About 100 women protested in Tehran in June against unequal inheritance laws, the difficulties women in Iran face getting a divorce, and the fact their court testimony is worth half that of men.

According to Human Rights Watch, six women have been convicted after taking part in that protest.

The group urged Iran's judiciary last month to overturn the convictions and end its persecution of human rights defenders.

Iran says it does not discriminate against women and says its rules are based on the Sharia.

Source:
Agencies
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