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Appeals Trial Held for 4 Members of the Campaign

Wednesday 28 January 2009


Change for Equality: The trial of 4 members of the One Million Signatures Campaign was held on January 27, 2009 in the 34th branch of the Appeals court of Tehran Province.

Parvin Ardalan, Jelve Javaheri and Nahid Keshavarz along with their lawyer appeared in court to defend themselves against the charge of actions against national security through the spreading of propaganda. Maryam Hosseinkhah the fourth person accused in this case was unable to be present in court as she is presently traveling.

These women’s rights activists and members of the Campaign are facing charges related to their activities and writings in the site of Change for Equality and Zanestan the webzine of the Women’s Cultural Center. In their original hearing the 13th branch of the Revolutionary Courts sentenced each of these women to six months mandatory prison term, which they protested.

Maryam Hosseinkhah spent 45 days in prison and Jelve Javaheri 30 days in prison in the fall of 2007 in relation to these same charges and while the case was being investigated.

Nasrin Sotoodeh one of the lawyers representing the accused in this case explained: "the appeals court session of my clients, Parvin Ardalan, Jelve Javaheri, Nahid Keshavarz, and Maryam Hosseinkhah was held in the 34th Branch of the Tehran Appeals court. My clients had been sentenced to 6 months prison term because of their activities in the website of Change for Equality (the site of the Campaign) and the website of Zanestan, by the 13th branch of the Revolutionary Courts. Of course we objected to this ruling. I am one of three lawyers, along with Shirin Ebadi and Leila Alikarami, who are representing the clients in this case. So based on our objection to the original ruling, we had an appeals court scheduled."

Sotoodeh explained further: "the charges against my clients are ’actions against national security through the spreading of propaganda against the state’ based on writings in the previously mentioned websites. I along with my clients provided necessary explanations in defense of our case to the court. These two websites which publish on social issues and women’s rights have never worked to endanger national security and as such I have asked the appeals court to rule for the acquittal of my clients."

In should be noted that this court session was a held publicly as such some of the members of the Campaign were present in the session to provide support to their colleagues.

 

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