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Esfand 28 1396
March 19 2018
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Evoking Sophia Loren In Iran

- ... my ears perked up when I heard cleric Ahmad Alamolhoda-the hardline Friday Prayer Leader of the holy city of Mashhad, the seat of Imam Reza Shrine-mention Sophia Loren in his Friday speech. The occasion for remembering Loren was a Women's Day performance of Iranian folklore dance by eight and nine year olds in front of the mayor of Tehran. -Farideh Farhi - 3/15/18

Men Detained at Women's Rights Rally in Iran Remain Behind Bars After Female Detainees Released

- The women who were detained at a women's rights demonstration in front of the Iranian Labor Ministry in Tehran on March 8, 2018, have all been released but five male demonstrators remain behind bars. The last of the female detainees were freed from Gharchak Prison in the city of Varamin after posting bail on March 12, a source with knowledge about the cases told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 3/15/18

This business owner learned to take risks at a young age

- Anoosheh Oskouian, 54, is chief executive of Ship & Shore Environmental Inc., a multimillion-dollar Signal Hill company that makes pollution-reducing equipment. The firm also helps cut energy costs and develop energy alternatives for U.S. and foreign industrial companies. -Los Angeles Times - 3/15/18

Women and their achievements feature on billboards in Iran

- A soldier, war photographer, and an Olympian are some of the women gracing public billboards in Iran's capital Tehran in a rare move in the conservative country. The billboards showcase the achievements of ground-breaking Iranian women, including the late mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani who in 2014 became the first woman to win the Fields Medal - the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for mathematics. -BBC - 3/14/18

Prominent Iranian Human Rights Lawyer to Appeal Hijab Protester's Prison Sentence

- A woman who was sentenced to prison in Iran for removing her headscarf in public is being used as an example to dissuade others from repeating the peaceful protest against the compulsory hijab, according to prominent human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh. "What Narges did was appear in public without the hijab, that much is true," Sotoudeh told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on March 10, 2018. "But in court, she was tried for 'encouraging corruption,' as if she ran a house of prostitution." - 3/13/18

Conservative Iranian Officials Outraged That Little Girls Were Allowed to Dance at Women's Day Event

- Iran's ultra-conservative prosecutor general has demanded that the organizers of a Women's Day event in the capital city be punished for allowing little girls to dance on a stage. His demand has been echoed by religious hardliners around the country but some liberal commentators have pointed out that the issue has been blown drastically out of proportion. - 3/11/18

Feminist Trio Takes Defiant Song To Tehran's Subway, Video Goes Viral

- A video of three Iranian women singing a famous feminist song on Tehran's subway on March 8 to mark International Women's Day is going viral on social media and highlighted ongoing challenges to veiling and other discriminatory laws. The women are not wearing the Islamic head scarf, known as the hijab, that is mandated for women in public under Iran's clerically dominated system. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL - 3/11/18

Iran Reportedly Blocks Women's Day Gathering, Detains Some Participants

- Several women who had attempted to gather in Tehran to mark International Women's Day have been detained, reports said. Women's rights activists had announced that they would stage a peaceful protest outside the Labor Ministry in the Iranian capital on March 8 to call for more rights. - 3/9/18

Supreme Leader Khamenei Claims Iran's 'Enemies' Behind Anti-Hijab Protests

- Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has accused foreign "enemies" of funding recent protests over the compulsory hijab. Khamenei's remarks in a March 8 speech were his most extensive public comments on a series of peaceful acts of protest in which dozens of women have removed their head scarves in public and waved them on sticks. "As a result, some girls were deceived and removed their veil here and there," Khamenei said. - 3/9/18

Iranian Woman Gets Two Years In Prison For Removing Head Scarf

- An Iranian woman who removed her Islamic head scarf on a Tehran street has been sentenced to two years in prison, local media report. The semiofficial Tasnim news agency on March 7 quoted prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying that the woman was attempting to "encourage corruption through the removal of the hijab in public." - 3/8/18

Iranian cinema returns to Edinburgh as tribute to female directors

- Beginning with the works of young filmmaker Ida Panahandeh, the audience experienced love and loss as two former lovers are reunited after a fatal accident in Israfil (2017). Panahandeh's Nahid (2015) addressed the social challenges faced by a single mother who wants to settle down with her new boyfriend. The 2015 feature introduced the Iranian concept of temporary marriage, or 'sigheh', an Islamic law allowing a man and woman to legally couple without an official change of marital status. -Sara Konradi, Student Newspaper - 3/6/18

Iranian Journalist Confronts FIFA President Over Iran's Ban on Women in Stadiums: "It's Our Right"

- Thirty-five women who went to Tehran's Azadi Stadium to watch a match between two popular soccer teams were detained by police on March 1, 2018, and held for several hours, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Female journalist Niloofar Hamedi, who was at the scene, directly confronted FIFA President Gianni Infantino outside the stadium as shown in a video posted on her Twitter account. "We need a guarantee. It's our right," Hamedi is heard saying as Infantino is whisked away. - 3/4/18

Iranian Hijab Protester, Maryam Shariatmadari, Charged With "Acting Against National Security"

- An Iranian woman who was arrested in Tehran for peacefully protesting against Iran's compulsory hijab law has been formally charged, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. Maryam Shariatmadari, who is currently being held in Gharchak Prison in Varamin, south of Tehran, is facing the charges of "fostering bad hijab" and "acting against national security. - 3/2/18

Opposition Leader Under House Arrest and 68 Female Documentary Makers Lend Support to Iran's Hijab Protesters

- As people protesting against the Islamic Republic of Iran's mandatory hijab law continue to be arrested, an increasing number of political and cultural personalities inside the country are expressing support for the peaceful movement. In late February 2018, prominent opposition figure Zahra Rahnavard, who has been under house arrest for more than seven years, said for the first time that she opposed the compulsory hijab. - 3/2/18

Prominent Iranians Lifting The Veil On The Hijab Debate

- A small number of Iranian women, risking arrest to protest compulsory head scarves, have rekindled debate about Iran's so-called hijab rule. The Islamic scarf, or hijab, is one of the pillars of the Islamic republic and among its most visible symbols. It became compulsory after the 1979 revolution, after which Iranian women were required to cover their hair and body in public. Those who violate the rule face police harassment, fines, and even jail terms, and a number of the recent hijab protesters have already been taken into custody. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 3/2/18

Iran Banishes Women From Tehran Football Match Attended by FIFA Chief

- Iran has blocked several dozen women from attending a major Tehran football match witnessed by the head of FIFA, the sport's world governing body, prompting criticism from rights activists. Iranian state news agency ISNA said police "transferred" 35 women who had gone to Azadi Stadium on Thursday to try to watch the match between local rivals Esteghlal and Persepolis. -Michael Lipin, VOA - 3/2/18

45 European MPs Call on EU Foreign Policy Chief to Support Iranian Women's Anti-Compulsory-Hijab Protest

- Forty-five members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have sent an open letter to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urging her to call on Iranian officials to immediately release the women who have been arrested for participating in the recent anti-compulsory-hijab protests in Iran. - 3/1/18

Iranian Woman Injured During Compulsory Hijab Protest Denied Post-Surgery Care by Prison Officials

- A woman who was severely injured by a policeman in Tehran while she was peacefully protesting against Iran's compulsory hijab law has been denied post-surgery medical care and access to a lawyer. "Given her physical condition, Maryam Shariatmadari needs urgent medical attention but the prison authorities are denying her," tweeted journalists Jila Baniyaghoob on February 25, 2018. - 2/28/18

'Freedom' For A Day: Women In Stands Score Big Sporting Victory In Iran

- Scores of female fans flocked to Tehran's Azadi Sports Complex to attend the first round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian qualifier between Iran and Iraq, a game won by the hosts, 83 to 53. But the real winners were in the stands, as Iranian authorities loosened their stance against women attending men's sporting events. -Frud Bezhan - 2/28/18

Iranian Women Said At 'Risk Of Long Jail Terms' For Protesting Hijab

- Amnesty International says dozens of women are at risk of "long jail terms" for protesting against the compulsory hijab in Iran. Iranian authorities have arrested dozens of women who have protested against the hijab by removing their head scarves in public. - 2/27/18

Iran basketball team defeats Iraq in 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifier

- The Iranian men's national basketball team has achieved a resounding win in the Asian qualification round of the 2019 Federation Internationale de Basket-ball (FIBA) World Cup, beating the Iraqi side. On Sunday evening, the Iranian outfit overcame the Iraqi team 83-53 in its fourth Group D fixture of the tournament in the Iranian capital city of Tehran. - 2/26/18

Woman Arrested For Peacefully Protesting Iran's Compulsory Hijab After Policeman Pushes Her Off Platform

- A woman who was pushed off a utility platform in Tehran by a policeman for peacefully protesting against Iran's compulsory hijab law was detained later that night on February 22, 2018. In a video posted on the Telegram messaging app on February 22, some bystanders shout words of support for the woman as the policeman confronts her. When the policeman pushes her down, he turns to the crowd and challenges them to "step forward if you've got balls." - 2/25/18

1,000 Days in Prison: Narges Mohammadi Condemns Iranian Judiciary's "Subservience" to Security Agencies

- Human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi, who recently marked her 1,000th day of imprisonment in Iran, has strongly condemned Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani for his "subservience" to the country's security establishment. - 2/21/18

Another Iranian Woman Arrested In Tehran For Protesting Compulsory Veiling

- A woman has been arrested in Iran after peacefully protesting against compulsory veiling, the latest such incident in recent months. Video uploaded to YouTube on February 15 shows a woman standing on a concrete block above a crowd on Tehran's Enghelab (Revolution) street, waving her head scarf in protest. - 2/17/18

Mother of Ailing Hunger Striker Atena Daemi Assaulted in Front of Tehran's Evin Prison

- Masoumeh Nemati, the mother of imprisoned civil rights activist Atena Daemi, was attacked in front of Evin Prison in Tehran on February 13, 2018, after she tried to inquire about her daughter's hunger strike. "Atena and Golrokh Iraee [Ebrahimi], who are on a dry hunger strike, are in serious condition. Instead of answering our questions, they beat us up and interrogated us today," Nemati said in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 2/16/18

Iran's female skier blazes a trail to Pyeongchang

- Getting a spot to compete in the 23rd Olympic Games in South Korea was no easy feat for the 26-year-old athlete Samaneh Bayrami Baher, who is the only female member of the country's national cross-country skiing team. As a child, Samaneh fell in love with swimming, competing and winning three international events. She also trained for competitive cycling. -Al Jazeera - 2/14/18

Follower of Sufi Order Expelled From Iranian University After Refusing to Sign Pledge

- Sepideh Moradi Sarvestani, a follower of the Sufi Gonabadi Dervish order, was expelled from Tehran's Tarbiat Modares University on February 3, 2018, for refusing to formally pledge not to engage in activities deemed unacceptable by officials. - 2/11/18

"Iranian Women's Movement Museum" inauguration: "From Evin With Love"

- In light of International Women's Day, the exhibition "From Evin, With Love" will open on March 9, 2018 in The Hague, Netherlands, presenting the handicrafts of Imprisoned Iranian women activists. The exhibition will run through April 6, 2018 and will feature a number of prominent Iranian and foreign speakers as well as a performance by Nasrin Hobby & Ensemble. - 2/9/18

Delegation of Iranian women entrepreneurs visit France

- A delegation of 32 Iranian women entrepreneurs, members of chambers of commerce, heads of private companies and other noble women in different fields visited Paris to attend economic meetings. The group arrived in Paris on Wednesday to attend a seminar titled "Iranian women, dynamic women", and a round table talk in the French parliament, IRNA reported. - 2/7/18

Iranian Police Arrest 29 Women Protesting Against Veiling Law

- Iranian police say they arrested 29 women who removed their head scarves in a growing protest against a law requiring women to wear the Islamic veils in public. The Tasnim news agency reported on February 1 that police claimed the women had been "tricked" into removing their head scarves by a propaganda campaign being conducted by Iranians living abroad. It was not immediately clear if all the arrests were in the capital, Tehran. - 2/2/18

"Girls of Revolution St" Protest Ignites Debate on Iran's Compulsory Hijab

- Several women protested against Iran's compulsory hijab law in the streets of Tehran and Isfahan on January 29 and 30, 2018, by publicly removing their headscarves and waving them like flags while standing on a platform. The police detained at least one of the peaceful protesters, Narges Hosseini, who can't afford to post her bail amount, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 2/1/18

Uncovered 'Girl From Enghelab Street' Picks Up Steam In Iran

- Iranians appear to have taken inspiration from a woman who landed in jail late last month for a peaceful protest against Iran's strict Islamic dress code, echoing frustration at official restrictions on women's appearance in public. At least three more women ditched their head scarves again on January 30, more than a month after 31-year-old Vida Movahedi's daring but silent plea for greater freedom for tens of millions of women in Iran. -Golnaz Esfandiari - 1/31/18

300 Iranian Women's Rights Advocates Voice Support For Protests, Demand Equality

- More than 300 Iranian women's rights' activists have expressed support for the recent anti-government protests in Iran and demanded an end to state policies that discourage women from entering the workforce. "As campaigners against discrimination and advocates of equality, we feel it is our duty to be part of this multi-layered movement and be present in the streets and other public spaces to demand our rights," said a statement published on January 11, 2018, signed by prominent human rights defenders including Shirin Ebadi and Parastou Forouhar. - 1/30/18

Iranian Pastor's Wife Sentenced to Five Years in Prison For "Acting Against National Security"

- Shamiram Isavi, the wife of Victor Bet Tamraz, who formerly led Iran's Assyrian Pentecostal Church, has been sentenced to five years in prison. "As far as we know, and based on Mrs. Isavi's own statements, no evidence has been presented in the case to show that she was engaged in spying or disturbing national security. She has denied all the charges," Kiarash Alipour, a spokesman for Article 18, a UK-based organization focusing on Christians in Iran, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on January 25, 2018. - 1/30/18

Iran 'Frees' Woman Who Took Stand Against Compulsory Veiling

- An Iranian woman who was arrested in Tehran last month for apparently protesting peacefully against the country's mandatory Islamic dress code has been freed, a human rights lawyer says. "The girl of Enghelab Street has been released," lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh wrote in a post on her Facebook page on January 28. - 1/29/18

Iranian Women Activists Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee Beaten and Transferred to Different Prison

- Political prisoners Atena Daemi and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee were beaten by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran's Evin Prison and transferred to Gharchak Prison in the city of Varamin, 37 miles south of the capital. "Atena called us this morning [January 25] and told us what happened," Daemi's mother, Masoumeh Nemati, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 1/29/18

Iran Urged To Free Woman Who Took Stand Against Compulsory Veiling

- Amnesty International is calling on Iranian authorities to "immediately and unconditionally" release a woman who was arrested in Tehran last month for apparently protesting peacefully against the country's mandatory Islamic dress code. In a January 24 statement, the London-based rights group also reiterated its calls on the authorities to "end the persecution of women who speak out against compulsory veiling, and abolish this discriminatory and humiliating practice." - 1/25/18

"Berlin's Youngest Art Dealer" Anahita Sadighi Revitalizes Asian Art

- The Berlin based gallery was founded in 2015 by Anahita Sadighi. Located in the western district of Berlin close to Savigny Platz, the gallery features antique arts of East Asia and the Middle East. The main themes are: Japanese Woodblock Prints, Chinese Furniture, East Asian Ceramics, Buddhist Art, Carpets and Textiles and Islamic Art. 'My aim is to liberate far eastern cultures from their negative and controversial reputation and to awaken again the mesmerisation for the oriental', says Anahita Sadighi. - 1/25/18

She Studied Singing in College But is Banned From Performing on Stage in Iran

- "I am a professional Iranian singer but I am only allowed to work if I perform with a man, which is something I have never wanted to do," female vocalist Sepideh Jandaghi told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) in an interview. A vocalist with 12 years of training in traditional Iranian music, Jandaghi spoke to CHRI on January 22, 2018, about discriminatory state policies banning women in Iran from performing on stage except in rare circumstances. - 1/25/18

The House Is Black Media Project

- The House is Black is Iranian American artist Sussan Deyhim's multimedia examination of the work of Forough Farrokhzad, one of Iran's most influential feminist poets and filmmakers. Travel through a visual, sonic and theatrical journey into the heart of Forough's prophetic vision, which is as relevant today as it was half a century ago. This thrilling production, first seen at Royce Hall in 2015, features a Persian and Western-influenced score by Deyhim and Golden Globe-winning composer Richard Horowitz. - 1/24/18

Female Musician Prohibited From Performing on Stage in Isfahan, Iran

- Iranian singer Salar Aghili performed in the central Iranian city of Isfahan on January 12 and 13, 2018, without the female members of his band due to interference by local officials at the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned. - 1/20/18

Courage overcomes tragedy: Sara Abdolmaleki redefines physical boundaries

- Sara Abdolmaleki is a strong and determined young woman whose life story will empower anyone who is weighed down by life's trials and tribulations. The twenty-three year old resident of Karaj has proven that one can persevere and overcome even the most earth shattering obstacles in life only to emerge with resilience. - 1/10/18

10-Year-Old Iranian Gymnast Caught Up in Hijab Controversy

- The Iran Gymnastics Federation has walked back its threat to discipline a 10-year-old gymnast for allegedly taking part in an international competition without wearing the mandatory hijab. Iranian women are required to wear the hijab, the head-to-toe-covering Islamic dress code, at all times in public. - 12/31/17

Tehran Police Will No Longer Arrest Women Who Break Dress Code

- Police in Iran's capital of Tehran said they will no longer arrest women for failing to observe the Islamic dress code and instead send them to classes at counseling centers. The Tehran Times on December 28 quoted Brigadier General Hossein Rahimi as saying that "those who do not properly observe the Islamic dress code will no longer be taken to detention centers, nor will judicial cases be filed against them." - 12/29/17

In Letter From Evin Prison, Narges Mohammadi Demands Judiciary Stop Violating Due Process Rights

- Political prisoner Narges Mohammadi has criticized Iran's judiciary and security organizations for holding detainees in solitary confinement for prolonged periods without charge while trying to build a case against them. - 12/18/17

IRAN: After Burn Victims Denied Compensation Because They're Girls, Lawyer Says Law Must Change

- A lawyer in Iran is speaking out about sexism in the country's legal code after the families of two children who died in a fire at an elementary school were denied full compensation because the victims were girls. - 12/15/17

Iran's first museum for a female artist honours nonagenarian

- The 93-year-old doyenne of Iranian art, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, has donated more than 50 of her works to a new museum dedicated to her oeuvre in Tehran. The Monir Museum, which opens tomorrow (15 December) in a 19th-century former palace and gardens, is the first institution in Iran devoted to a single female artist. -The Art Newspaper - 12/14/17

Women's share of Iran's budget bill increases by 30%

- The proposed national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year 1397, starting on March 21, 2018, has allocated 210 billion rials ($5.25 million) for women's affairs, an increase of 30 percent year on year. President Hassan Rouhani presented the administration's draft of the national budget bill for the next year to the Majlis (Iranian parliament) on Sunday. - 12/12/17

Iran's Culture Minister Says He's Trying to "Transform" Conservative Clerics' Views on Music

- Before musicians can perform concerts in Iran without the threat of the authorities suddenly canceling them, someone has to convince conservative Shia Muslim clerics that music is not un-Islamic. "Some of the things that have happened to these artists is because of the views expressed by some religious leaders," said Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Abbas Salehi in an interview - 12/9/17

Iran Allows Women Weightlifters To Compete Internationally

- Iran says it will allow women weightlifters to compete internationally for the first time. Ali Moradi, president of the Iranian Weightlifting Federation, said on November 23, "We have established the Iran Weightlifting Federation Women's Committee and we have talented female athletes." - 11/24/17

Outspoken Daughter Of Slain Iranian Dissidents Going On Trial For 'Spreading Propaganda'

- The murders of Parastou Forouhar's parents were pinned on Iran's Intelligence Ministry. Now, the same ministry is going after the artist for speaking out about their deaths and her alleged ties by extension to a scandal over an activist who was photographed drinking wine. Forouhar will go on trial on November 25, three days after the 19th anniversary of the deaths of her parents, Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar. The two political activists and dissidents were stabbed to death in their Tehran home in November 1998 in a killing that officials later blamed on rogue intelligence agents, despite suggestions otherwise. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/22/17

Flying girl of Iran, Fatemeh Akrami, hopes to increase female skydivers

- Fatemeh Akrami, the only female skydiver in Iran, hopes to instruct skydiving to as many interested girls as possible. "My goal is to become a skydiving instructor for Iranian girls," Akrami, 24, said in an interview with the Tehran Times. "I am an Iranian girl and my responsibility is to boost the number of female skydivers in the country", she stated. -Naghmeh Mizanian - 11/16/17

The Afghan Peace Process And Women

- has become even more difficult for women to find their way to the negotiating table and participate in the peace process. However, this failure to include women peace-builders ultimately presents one of the biggest obstacles to achieving lasting peace. In fact, the fate of the peace process may very well be tied to the position of women in the peace-building framework. -Quhramaana Kakar, LobeLog - 11/16/17

Iran's first Oscar submission directed by woman causes stir

- A movie about a young girl whose fantasy world helps her escape the hard realities of growing up in the countryside near Tehran in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution is Iran's first-ever submission for the Academy Awards' foreign film directed by a woman. But not everyone is celebrating. -Amir Vahdat, AP - 11/10/17

California Governor Jerry Brown appoints Iranian-American Woman Nahal Iravani-Sani as Judge in Santa Clara County Superior Court

- "PAAIA congratulates Nahal Iravani-Sani on her appointment to a judgeship in Santa Clara County. As an immigrant from Iran, Iravani-Sani has faced injustice and adversity, only to reinforce her commitment to fairness and equality and heighten her appreciation of the freedoms and opportunities her adopted country affords its citizens. For over twenty years, Iravani-Sani has been representing the people of the State of California in a variety of capacities, including as Deputy District Attorney." - 11/4/17

Iranian female rock climber Rekabi ranks 1st at Asia Cup - Wanxianshan 2017

- Iranian rock climber Elnaz Rekabi has been crowned as the champion of Asia Cup - Wanxianshan 2017 in China, and clinched a gold medal at the prestigious sports event. On Sunday, Rekabi featured remarkable displays at the women's bouldering final contest, and finished first. - 11/1/17

Two more Iranian women take on managerial posts in the country

- Marzieh Shahdaei and Fariba Moradi have been appointed respectively as the vice minister of oil and the member of the board of directors of the post company of Iran. Shahdaei is the first woman in the history of Iran's oil industry to take on the responsibility. Meanwhile, Moradi is the first female member of the board of directors of the post company affiliated with the ministry of information and communications technology. - 11/1/17

INTERVIEW-Oscar-nominated Iranian director challenges Trump to watch her film

- Iran's first Oscar-nominated female director has challenged President Donald Trump to watch her film to see if its portrayal of ordinary Iranians' experience of war and revolution will change his views of her country. -Parisa Hafezi, Reuters - 10/31/17

Basketball: Iranian Girls Finish Fourth at U-16 Women's Asian Championship (Division B)

- The Iranian girls, who participated in a global tournament for the first time since the revolution of 1979, finished in fourth place at Division B of the 2017 FIBA Asia U-16 Championship. Elaheh Darestani's girls lost to Kazakhstan 61-47 in the bronze medal match in Bengaluru, India on Saturday. - 10/28/17

Mother Of Iranian Protester Killed In 2009 Crackdown Said Sentenced To Prison

- A court in Iran has sentenced the mother of a protester killed in a government crackdown in 2009 to a year in prison after convicting her on charges that include spreading "propaganda against the establishment," people close to her say. Shahnaz Akmali has also been barred from posting on social media and banned from leaving Iran, people who are familiar with the ruling told RFE/RL's Radio Farda on October 26. - 10/26/17

91-year-old doll-maker: "A woman is never incapable"

- Every morning I wake up with my heart full of love. I have an enthusiasm to make new dolls, says Bibi Hazer Omidvari, a 91-year-old Iranian woman born and grown up in the southwestern city of Kazeroon. "Thanks God that granted me the patience of making dolls. If I wasn't busy with these dolls, I always thought of my past and the burdens I had tolerated in my life. Then these memories would make me cry," she explained. -Naghmeh Mizanian, Tehran Times - 10/24/17

Reformist Political Activist Turned Refugee Briefly Arrested Upon Return to Iran

- A source close to Sedigheh Vasmaghi, who had been sentenced to prison in absentia, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) that she was detained for a few hours by Intelligence Ministry agents at Tehran's international airport on October 15, 2017, and told to return after her case was processed. Saham News, an opposition website, claimed Vasmaghi, a former Tehran City Council member, was released because of her "physical condition;" she is clinically blind. - 10/19/17

Iranian Baha'i Poet Named PEN International Writer Of Courage

- Baha'i poet Mahvash Sabet, who was jailed for nearly a decade in Iran, has been selected as the 2017 International Writer of Courage. Northern Ireland poet Michael Longley named Sabet at the PEN Pinter Prize ceremony at the British Library in London on October 10. - 10/11/17

Iranian female weightlifters allowed to participate in the sport

- Head of Iran Weightlifting Federation Ali Moradi said that the Iranian women weightlifters can compete in the sport. Gender equality in sports has always been a controversial topic. In July 2011, International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) modified its competing rules to allow tight-fitting, body-length unitards for the first time. - 10/11/17

Imprisoned Iranian-British Citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Threatened With 16 More Years Behind Bars

- Iranian-British dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, imprisoned in Iran since April 2016 on trumped up and unspecified national security charges, is now facing up to 16 more years in prison based on new charges brought by the arresting authority, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), according to her family. "Threatening Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with more years behind bars after she was imprisoned without full due process is unjust and inhumane," said Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). - 10/10/17

Saudi women drivers spark Iranian social media buzz

- Ordinary Iranians have taken to social media in response to Saudi Arabia's reforms allowing women to drive. Many compared the emergence of women's rights in Saudi Arabia to the sluggish growth of Iran's women's movement. -Deutsche Welle - 10/7/17

Iranian Rights Activist Barred from University Under Ahmadinejad Faces Same Roadblocks Under Rouhani

- Iran's Intelligence Ministry has blocked formerly imprisoned civil rights activist Mahdieh Golroo from attending Alzahra University in Tehran despite being accepted as a graduate student. "I saw the letter from [President Hassan] Rouhani's Intelligence Ministry at the University Evaluation Organization (UEO)," said Golroo in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on October 3, 2017. - 10/6/17

Expelled Iranian Chess Player Dorsa Derakhshani Switches To U.S. Team

- An Iranian chess player, Dorsa Derakhshani, who was expelled from the national team for attending an international competition without wearing hijab, has switched sides and joined the U.S. team. "Based on the [International Chess Federation, FIDE] statute, chess players who switch their nationality can after two years join the national team of their new country. Dorsa has also benefited from the same statute" - 10/4/17

Q&A: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's Husband Speaks Out About Dual National's Imprisonment in Iran

- Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe never imagined she would be arrested and ultimately sentenced to five years in prison when she entered Tehran's international airport on her way back home to the UK after visiting her parents. But nightmare became reality on April 3, 2016 when the Revolutionary Guards' Intelligence Organization detained the London-based Iranian-British citizen, her baby in her arms. - 9/29/17

Female Head Of Iran's Polo Federation Fired Over Private Photos

- Iran's sports federation has fired Golnar Vakil Gilani, the head of the Polo Federation, over leaked private photos. Gilani told Iranian news agencies that she had not received any letter in this regard but the sports authorities had appointed another woman as temporary president for the federation. - 9/28/17

What Trump's tough talk on Iran means for human rights

- Iranian-American actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi weighs in on how the Iran nuclear deal has affected humanitarian work, minority representation in Hollywood and more. -Politico - 9/28/17

Freed Iranian Baha'i Leader Mahvash Sabet Describes Unjust Trial, Prison Conditions

- Mahvash Sabet, a leader of Iran's persecuted Baha'i faith who was released from Evin Prison on September 18, 2017 after completing a 10-year sentence, said she was convicted of espionage charges despite non-existent evidence. "We love our country," she said. "We never betrayed our country and never will. No one has shown us any evidence based on the charges against us. It is very important for me to address the people inside and outside the country about the espionage allegations." - 9/27/17

Sculpture of Maryam Mirzakhani unveiled in Tehran

- An sculpture of renowned Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani was unveiled on September 19 at the National Library and Archive of the Islamic Republic of Iran (NLAI) in Tehran. Mirzakhani, 40, fought with cancer for four years and died of breast cancer at a hospital in the U.S. on July 14. The family of the late mathematician, the director of NLAI, Ashraf Boroujerdi, and other cultural and scientific personalities participated in the unveiling ceremony. - 9/21/17

Producer of "Breath" pleased female filmmaker to represent Iran at Oscars

- Mohammad-Hossein Qasemi, the producer of Iran's submission to the 2018 Oscars "Breath", who is also the husband of the film's director Narges Abyar, said on Wednesday that he was pleased Iran has sent a movie by a female filmmaker to the 90th Academy Awards. "Women have a greater potential for making a film and competing at international events," Qasemi told the Persian service of Tasnim. - 9/20/17

"Women, The Architects Of Peace" congress held in Tehran

- An international congress with the theme of "women, the architects of peace" was held here on Sunday on the occasion of the World Peace Day, which is annually marked on September 21. The congress was held with the cooperation of the Institute for Protection of Women's Rights (IPWR), The UNESCO Chair for Human Rights, Peace and Democracy (UNESCO CHRPD) of Shahid Beheshti University, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. - 9/19/17

The Two Eyes of the Earth: Art and Ritual of Kingship between Rome and Sasanian Iran

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