Alieh Eghdam Doust, women’s rights activist was released from prison today on January 8, 2011 after serving a three year prison term. Alieh was sentenced to serve three years in prison after she was arrested on June 12, 2006 along with nearly 70 other protesters in Haft-e Tir Square, during a protest demanding equal rights for women. Alieh was subsequently tried in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Courts, on charges of acting against national security and sentenced to 3 years and four months in prison and 20 lashes. The court of appeals reduced her sentence by 4 months and 20 lashes, but upheld three years of this prison sentence. On February 1, 2009 Alieh was transferred under guard supervision from her paternal home in the city of Fouman in the north of Tehran, for the implementation of her three year prison sentence. Despite repeated attempts by her lawyers and Alieh herself, the courts refused to allow for furlough or early release.
While Alieh’s transfer to prison happened without the prior knowledge of herself, her lawyers and other women’s rights activists, today Alieh was greeted by women’s rights and human rights activists upon her release from prison, who will host her until she resumes a normal life. The Site of Change for Equality and all women’s rights activists welcome this auspicious occasion.
Alieh Eghdamdoust is the first women’s rights activists to be sentenced to prison solely for her women’s rights activities. Alieh Eghdamdoust, now into her 60th decade of life, served time in prison in the 1980s for political activities as well. Alieh Eghdamdoust and Bahareh Hedayat are the only two persons to serve prison terms in relation to their participation in the 2006 protest in support of women’s rights in Hafte Tir Square. Bahareh continues to remain in prison after two years, to serve a ten year prison term in relation to her student and women’s rights activities.