Two Iranian women, Sakineh Ashtiani who currently faces an execution sentence, and Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is a human rights lawyer and colleague of Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, are in danger in Iran. Ahtiani, who was sentenced to death by stoning after an adultery conviction, faces a possible execution by hanging, while Sotoudeh a prominent human rights lawyer has been on a dry hunger strike (no food or water) for more than a week while protesting her imprisonment.
Ashtiani was scheduled to be executed by hanging last Wednesday, but with massive international protest, her execution was suspended. According to Iranian officials, her file is "under review," but the regime has been known to execute people whose files were under review in the past. In 2006, she was convicted of having extramarital relations with two men who killed her husband. While she initially received a sentence of 99 lashes for adultery, during an appeal of her case, the court sentenced Ashtiani to death by stoning. After worldwide outrage, this sentence was commuted to death by hanging.
Sotoudeh, who defended many political activists and campaigners in Iran's presidential elections last year, has been held in Tehran's Evin Prison since September 4, when she was arrested and charged with "acting against state security" and "propaganda against the Islamic Republic." Sotoudeh has been refusing food and water to protest the intolerable conditions of prison and the improper investigation of her case and is in grave physical shape as a result. Activists are concerned she will soon fall into a coma or die.
Prominent political figures, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, have issued statements expressing concern and dismay over the treatment of the women.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation 11/9/10
12/12/2013 Feminist Majority Celebrates Introduction of Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) - WASHINGTON -- Feminist Majority today celebrates and applauds Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for introducing the critically-needed paid family medical leave legislation.
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) will allow workers to take paid time off to address a serious illness of their own, a spouse, parent or child or to care for a new baby or adopted child. . . .
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .