Women's rights activist arrested in Qom
Maryam Bigdeli, an Iranian women's rights activist and a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign to End Discriminatory Laws, has been arrested in Qom to serve out a prison term she has challenged as illegal.
Human Rights Reporters Committee reports that Bigdeli was picked up Thursday morning at her home and transferred to Langarood Prison in Qom.
Bigdeli was previously arrested together with Fatemeh Masjedi, another women's rights activist, in May 2009. She was released on bail after two weeks.
The two women were sentenced to six months in prison and $2,000 in fines for the charge of "propaganda against the Islamic Republic” because they supported the work of a feminist group by collecting and publishing signatures to change discriminatory laws against women.
Bigdeli challenged the sentence, saying the aim of the One Million Signatures Campaign is to present its collected signatures as a petition to the legal system. She added that no judicial body has declared the One Million Signatures Campaign to be illegal.
The court has rejected Bigdeli's challenge and demanded that she serves out her sentence.
Masjedi was also arrested last January and was released after serving out her six-month prison term.