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Nafiseh Azad Acquitted in one Case, Sentenced to One Year Suspended Sentence in Other Case

Tuesday 18 August 2009


Change for Equality:

Nafiseh Azad Acquitted in Case of Arrest in Front of Silk Road Gallery on June 12, 2008

Nafiseh Azad, a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign who was detained for several hours along with 8 other women’s rights activists on the 12th of June 2008, while preparing to attend a seminar at the Silk Road Gallery in commemoration of the national day of solidarity for Iranian women, was acquitted on the charges brought against her in the case. In relation to this illegal arrest by security forces, Azad was charged with refusal to obey the orders of the police and disruption of public order. She was acquitted on the charge of disruption of public order in the first court hearing and found guilty of refusal to obey the orders of the police. In appeals hearing she was acquitted of the second charge against her as well.

Nafiseh Azad Sentenced to One Year Suspended Sentence in Relation to Arrest While Collecting Signatures in Tochal Mountains

In her other case, Nafiseh was charged with actions against national security, and was sentenced to one year suspended sentence, for the period of three years. Security Branch 30 of the Revolutionary Courts has issued this sentence despite the fact that two others in a similar case were acquitted. Nafiseh Azad, along with two other members of the Campaign were arrested in Tochal Mountains in February while collecting signatures in support of the Campaign’s petition. While the other two members were released shortly after arrest, Azad spent 6 days in prison, and was released on a third party guarantee. She was subsequently charged with acting against national security and sentenced to a one year suspended sentence by the court. To date, more than 60 members of the Campaign have been arrested and charged with respect to their peaceful activities in this effort. A number of those arrested while collecting signatures have been acquitted, some have received sentences, demonstrating that the process of judicial review in these cases have not been similar.

Most recently Parastou Allahyaari was acquitted on a similar charge. The court ruled that collection of signatures and membership in the Campaign did not constitute a crime. Given this ruling Azad is hopeful that her sentence would be overturned in appeals.

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