Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (12 August) on the sentencing of three women’s rights activists in Iran:
I am appalled by the handing down of long prison sentences to the three women’s rights activists Mojgan Keshavarz, Yasaman Aryani and Monireh Arabshahi.
They campaigned peacefully and with great dedication for the rights of women in Iran. They protested against the compulsory wearing of headscarves and handed out flowers!
I call for the immediate release of these women and of all other detained women’s rights activists and call on the Iranian Government to honour the human and civil rights obligations it has undertaken to respect.
On 31 July 2019, the women’s rights activists Mojgan Keshavarz, Yasaman Aryani and her mother Monireh Arabshahi were handed down lengthy prison sentences for their campaign against the compulsory wearing of headscarves.
They were arrested in April 2019 because they put a video online on International Women’s Day which shows the activists getting on an underground train in Tehran without headscarves and handing over flowers to women.
According to human rights organisations, all three women were sentenced to 16 years in prison for “assembly against national security”, “propaganda against the state” and “encouraging and preparing the grounds for corruption and prostitution”. Mojgan Keshavarz was also sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for blasphemy. The three women’s lawyers were not allowed into court during the trial.