An Iranian women’s rights activist has been jailed for a total of 24 years – including a 15-year term for ‘spreading prostitution by taking off her hijab’.
Saba Kord Afshari, 20, was handed the sentence Tuesday by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court after being found guilty of removing her headscarf as well as ‘spreading propaganda against the state’ and ‘assembly and collusion’.
Afshari and her mother, Raheleh Ahmadi, had been prominent members of the White Wednesdays protest group, which spoke out against the compulsory hijab.
The pair routinely posted videos of themselves walking around the streets of Tehran without their headscarves to encourage other women to flout the law.
She was first arrested in the Iranian capital in August last year and jailed for a year, according to Iran Human Rights Monitor.
Afshari was released in February but continued to protest against human rights abuses by the Iranian regime, which saw her re-arrested in June.
She eventually ended up in the women’s wing of Evin Prison, in Tehran, where human rights groups say she was pressured into making video confessions of her crimes.
Despite her mother also being arrested, Afshari refused to record the videos.
On August 19 she was brought for trial, and on August 27 her lawyer says he was informed of the new sentence.
The punishment was increased by half because of ‘numerous charges and previous records’, Iran Human Rights Monitor said.
Three other female rights activists – Shima Babaii, Mojgan Lali, and Shaghayegh Mahaki – were also jailed for a total of 18 years in Tehran on Monday.
The trio was given six years each for ‘association and collusion against national security’ and ‘propaganda against the state’.
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