One Million Signatures Campaign Updates: Faranak Farid and Fereshteh Shirazi arrested, and activist Bahareh Hedayat Returns to Prison

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Faranak Farid, Women’s Rights Activist Arrested in Tabriz

Change for Equality: Faranak Farid, poet, translator and women’s rights and Campaign activist, was arrested on Saturday, September 3, 2011 in the city of Tabriz. According to eyewitness accounts, she was arrested in the Amin intersection in the city of Tabriz. It should be noted that a planned protest by environmentalists in the cities of Urumieh and Tabriz, objecting to government inattention to the drying up of Urumieh lake, turned violent at the hands of security forces. On the day of the protests in Tabriz, Ms. Faranak Farid had left her home to take care of personal business, but was arrested by security forces on the street.

Bahareh Hedayat Returns to Prison After Following Furlough for Medical Treatment

Change for Equality: According to reports published in Daneshjoo News, Bahareh Hedayat returned to prison on Wednesday, September 7. She had been released on furlough to receive medical treatments for health conditions that had worsened in prison over the last year and a half. Hedayat, a member of the Central Council of the Office to Foster Unity, is a leading student rights and women’s rights activist, and a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign. She is serving a 9-and-a-half-year prison term in Tehran’s Evin prison. Seven and a half years of this prison term are in relation to her student rights activities, while the other 2 years are in relation to her women’s rights activities. She was arrested on December 31, 2009. In late July 2011, after a year and half in prison with no furlough, she was granted furlough for four days. This recent furlough was granted in response to her worsening health so that she could receive medical treatment outside of prison.

Fereshteh Shirazi Campaign Member in Amol Arrested

Change for Equality: Fereshteh Shirazi, a member of the Campaign in the northern city of Amol, was arrested on Sunday, September 4, following a summons to the local office of the Ministry of Intelligence in the city of Amol. Sources close to the family have informed the Change for Equality site that Fereshteh is being held in relation to charges brought against her two years ago for her women’s rights activities and her writings. She is being held in the women’s ward in Amol prison, with dangerous criminals. According to these sources, she is banned from visits and is not allowed phone privileges. Prior to Fereshteh’s arrest, her daughter was arrested in a park in the city of Amol, for participating in a water gun fight program planned by youth. According to reports from informed sources, the two arrests seem to be unrelated and Fereshteh’s daughter has since been released on bail.

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