Feminist Activist Arrested in Iran
Iranian women's rights activist Maryam Bigdeli was arrested for the second time in two years. Bigdeli was picked up by authorities in Qom last week to finish serving a 2009 sentence for campaigning to reform laws that discriminate against women, according to Radio Zamaneh, an Iranian news service based in the Netherlands.
Bigdeli and fellow activist Fatemeh Masjedi were sentenced to six months in prison and a $2,000 fine in 2009 "for propaganda against the Islamic Republic" after taking part in the One Million Signatures Campaign for legal reform. Bigdeli challenged the sentence, but a court has rejected the challenge. Masjedi has already served six months and released.
The One Million Signatures Campaign has received numerous international honors, including the Feminist Majority Foundation's Global Women's Rights Award and the Simone de Beauvoir Award. Bigdeli and Masjedi were previously involved in an effort to defend a young woman against a planned honor killing.
Media Resources: Radio Zamaneh, 7/24/2011; Iranian.com 3/24/2009, we-change.org 5/24/2009