Iran sentences Kurdish women's rights activist to jail: report

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Sign the petition for Iraq's three-region solution August 24, 2008 Iran sentences Kurdish women's rights activist to jail: report

AFP

TEHRAN - An Iranian appeals court has upheld a four-year jail term handed down to a Kurdish women's rights activist, a press report said on Sunday.

"An appeal court in West Azarbaijan confirmed the four-year jail sentence with exile for Zeinab Bayzeydi," Kargozaran newspaper said, quoting her lawyer Mehdi Hojati.

Bayzeydi will have to serve her jail term outside home province of West Azarbaijan, which has a substantial Kurdish population.

The 26-year-old had been involved with the "One Million Signature" campaign, an initiative launched in 2006 seeking to change Iranian law regarded as discriminatory to women.

Several women have been arrested for their involvement with the campaign in Tehran and Kurdish-populated areas, including Bayzeydi, Ronak Saffarzadeh and Hana Abdi, who was given five years in jail.

Earlier this month the French presidency of the European Union condemned the arrest of the three rights activists and called for their unconditional release.

Iranian women's rights campaigners demand equal rights in marriage, child custody and divorce. A married woman in Iran needs her husband's consent to work and obtain a passport, and the blood money paid for a woman's life is half that for a man.

The signature campaign, which is backed by Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, was launched following a protest in a Tehran main square in June 2006, when about 70 people were arrested amid reported police brutality.

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