On a summer night in 2008, the wives of some Iranian members of Parliament started receiving phone calls.

“Would you mind if I married your husband – just for a week?” asked the female voice on the end of the line.

The callers argued that taking another wife is a Muslim man’s right. By allowing it, the MPs’ wives would be performing a good Islamic deed. Some of the wives hung up in shock.

An Iranian court has sentenced an Iranian actress to one year in jail and 90 lashes related to her role in an Australian-made film portraying social alienation, artistic repression and drug use in Iran, according to an Iranian opposition website.

A prominent Iranian human rights activist who was taken seriously ill after being detained by the authorities has been sentenced to 11 years in jail.

A young woman is speaking to the camera, her face obscured to prevent her being identified.

Over 60 individuals, mostly dervishes (members of a religious order), were arrested in the Iranian cities of Kavar, Tehran and Shiraz between 3 and 14 September. At least three lawyers who represent the group were also arrested on 4 September. All are currently held in Evin Prison in Tehran and are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. 

An appeals court in Iran has reduced the prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh's jail sentence to six years, her husband said.

The 45-year-old lawyer, who has represented several political activists and protesters arrested in recent years, has been kept in Tehran's notorious Evin prison since last September. In Evin, she is spending time with some of the prisoners she defended in court.

Faranak Farid was arrested on 3 September in Tabriz, north-west Iran, during demonstrations over the drying of Lake Oroumieh, which is situated between the Iranian provinces of East and West Azerbaijan. She is reported to have been tortured and otherwise ill-treated in detention.

Iran's gay and lesbian community is struggling to win some recognition by coming out in defiance of a regime that criminalises homosexuality.

A group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Iranians have posted videos of themselves on Facebook in a campaign to highlight the discrimination against sexual minorities in Iran where homosexuals are put to death.

The Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) is committed to promoting a greater awareness of the challenges women face living under fundamentalist regimes such as that of Iran. Their tasks range from raising public awareness, conducting research projects and initiating outreach programs -- to policy discussions and analysis. We firmly believe that the political presence, participation and leadership of women are instrumental to achieving social, political and economic equality. Their headquarters are in Boston, Massachusetts.

This is a secularist, rights-based organisation based in the UK. They focus on violence against women in minority communities.

PO Box 62651 LONDON EC1P 1JP UK

Tel: +44 (0) 207 920 6460; +44 (0) 7862 733 511

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