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May 28, 2007 3:24 pm


IRANIAN WOMAN ACTIVIST GETS SIX YEARS



Al Jazeera reports:
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".

Her name is Roya Tolui and she is the latest of the women sentenced for participating in demonstrations demanding an end to discrimination. Iran's treatment of women and minorities has not only been criticized by outsiders but also by Iranian bloggers amongst for whom the bloody face of a young woman came to symbolize female repression in Iran.

Blogging reporters are also annoyed at the Iranian censorship prevents them from writing on the topic:

Beyond the unacceptable use of police violence, the bottom line of the story is that a defenseless woman was beaten up by the police in Tehran and the mainstream media were not there to get the story.

Maraym Sheybani, a journalist and blogger, says, [Fa] “the photos explain everything and there is no need to write about it. It displays the moral decline of humanity in Tehran these days. Authorities insist they are establishing security, but I see only the fear in everyones’ eyes. Security is an illusion that disappears as soon as you see security forces.” The blogger adds, “I do not support security forces these days as they now play the same role of both an agent and a judge.”

Zannevesht, also a blogger and journalist, writes [Fa], “it is not easy to see the bloody face of a woman on my computer screen. One colleague says, ‘why so much violence?’ Another one asks, ’should we write something about it?’ Another reminds us that we do not have the legal right to write anything about it because of the order by the Supreme National Security Council.’”

Zannevesht then adds:" It is like you cannot feed your hungry child. We journalists are responsible to inform people and transfer news but we cannot do it. Imagine you are responsible and you fail your responsibility every day."

Iran rejects the accusation."Iran says it does not discriminate against women and says its rules are based on the Sharia."http://www.payvand.com/news/07/may/Parnaz-Azima.jpg">

Oh, yes, yet another dual citizen visiting an ailing mother has been detained. Her name is Parnaz Azima, a correspondent for the Persian- language radio station owned by Radio Free Europe. Her lawyer, Iranian peace Nobel winner Shirin Ebadi who also is supposed to represent Esfandiari though she has yet to gain access to her client.

What do our Canadian Mennonite neighbours from the University of Waterloo do? They invite 6 of the clerics who interpret the Sharia so as to enable the Iranian thugs to participate in a dialogue. I hope the Canadian authorities refused to give them a visa. To sign a petition against them click here.




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