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Mothers of Iran’s democracy campaigners face jail

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Summary of story from Radio Free Europe, January 13, 2012

The Mothers of Laleh Park, a group of women whose children were killed or detained during Iran’s 2009 post-election crackdown, have issued the names of seven members or supporters who have been sentenced or imprisoned in recent months.

Two of them are currently serving jail terms.

The group has come under pressure from the authorities over its silent public protests in Tehran’s Laleh Park and other locations and for bringing attention to the plight of political prisoners.

In a statement, the group says that while those behind the torture and killing of activists are free to continue their crimes, women and mothers who have refused to be silent, while fighting for their basic rights and defending the rights of their children, are being repeatedly harassed and threatened.

​​It states the mothers and their supporters are being put on trial and convicted on “baseless” charges, including acting against national security.

Parvin Mokhtare, the mother of human rights activist Kouhyar Goudarzi has been in prison for the past five months.

Jila Mahdavian, the mother of another young man arrested in 2009, was sentenced to five years in prison, including a two-year suspended sentence and poet Jila Karamzadeh has been sentenced to four years in prison, two of which are suspended.

Three other supporters of the group who have been either, harassed, detained, or sentenced to jail, while other relatives and mothers of prisoners of conscience have been interrogated, threatened, and detained, according to the statement.

The Mothers of Laleh Park say they will stand by their call for the release of all political prisoners, the abolition of the death sentence, and for putting on trial those who have ordered the killings of intellectuals and prisoners of conscience in the past 30 years.

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