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Six United Nations rights experts last week condemned the 55-year prison sentences handed down to three White Wednesday women activists protesting the Islamic Republic’s compulsory hijab laws and called on the authorities to release them.

The UN experts called upon the Iranian authorities to quash the convictions and “immediately release all human rights defenders who have been arbitrarily detained for their work in advocating women’s rights, and to ensure full respect for the rights of women to freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and non-discrimination,” the experts said in a statement released by the UN.
“We are alarmed that the arrest and lengthy sentences handed to these women are directly related to the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in the pursuit of gender equality in Iran,” the experts said in a joint statement on Friday.
Respect and support for women rights are part of the universal declaration of human rights.

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Masih Alinejad is spearheading a broader movement that both unifies and amplifies the disparate strains of dissent now percolating within Iran.

by Ilan Berman

In late July, Mousa Ghazanfarabadi, the conservative head of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, announced publicly that the Iranian regime had identified a new “hostile government” with whom interaction was henceforth banned, punishable by up to a decade in prison. That entity wasn’t the Trump administration, which has launched an escalating campaign of economic pressure against the Islamic Republic over the past year. That entity wasn’t Israel, which Iranian officials have blamed over the years for everything from promoting global homosexuality to using pigeons as nuclear spies. Rather, the target of the blacklisting was a petite forty-two-year-old Iranian-American activist named Masih Alinejad.

At first glance, Alinejad may not seem like a particularly formidable political adversary. Slight and demure, she is unfailingly polite in person and easygoing in demeanor—at least when she isn’t speaking about the Iranian regime. A former reporter who worked for reformist news outlets before becoming fundamentally disenchanted with clerical rule, her personal story is similar to that of many others who have chosen—or been forced—to flee Iran in the four decades since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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‘Women in these videos are braver and angrier than before,’ says Masih Alinejad

Iranian women are sharing videos of themselves removing their headscarves in public, despite a recent ruling they could face 10 years in jail for doing so.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and prominent activist based in the US, started a social media campaign in 2014 encouraging women in Iran to share self-portraits without the Islamic veil, which she then goes on to share on her Facebook page called “My Stealthy Freedom”.

Ms Alinejad said campaigners had carried on sending her pictures and videos even after Tehran’s Revolutionary Court ruled they could face up to 10 years in prison on Monday.

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Tehran’s head of revolutionary court said women who send Masih Alinejad videos risk jail sentence up to 10 years of jail.

This is part of regime’s campaign intimidation to control women and impose its bad laws. The regime is scared of the women who have embarked on a campaign of civil disobedience. I’ll keep going and spread the voices of people as long as I keep receiving videos

Iranian officials have warned that posting video footage of women removing their mandatory headscarves in public could lead to up 10 years imprisonment, according to media reports yesterday. 

The announcement specifically named the US-based social media platform of Masih Alinejad, which since 2014 has been inviting Iranian women to post pictures of themselves without the hijab.

Ms Alinejad has been accused by the Iranian regime of working as an agent of the US government over the website, known as My Stealthy Freedom. 

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