The United States is denouncing the Iranian regime’s sentencing of three women to a combined 55 years in prison for peacefully protesting a mandatory hijab law, calling the punishment a “grave violation“ of basic human rights.
“We condemn the Iranian regime for sentencing Yasaman Aryani, Monireh Arabshahi, and Mojgan Keshavarz to 55 years in prison for protesting compulsory hijab laws while simply handing out roses,” U.S. Department of State Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in an Aug. 14 tweet. “We urge all nations to condemn this grave violation.”
Judge Mohammad Moqisseh July 31 sentenced the three women who were arrested this spring after they appeared in a video passing out flowers on a Tehran train car while not wearing headscarves. The women were denied legal counsel at trial, according to human rights groups.
Three women in Tehran have been charged with "encouraging prostitution" for peacefully protesting #Iran's mandatory hijab law. https://t.co/FuQX16FazV
— IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) August 8, 2019
The protest on International Women’s Day March 8 drew charges, including “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” “propaganda against the regime” and “encouraging and preparing the grounds for corruption and prostitution,” according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran.
The women’s attorneys deny the charges. Keshavarz received 23.5 years, while Arabshahi and her daughter Aryani each received 16 years. The women are expected to each serve 10 years.
In March, Moqisseh sentenced Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, who defended other women charged with removing their headscarves, to 148 lashes and 33 years in prison.