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The Number Of Female Dissident Prisoners In Iran Increasing

FILE - Narges Mohammadi (C), Iranian human rights activist.

The number of women imprisoned in Iran is swiftly increasing since the appointment of the Islamic Republic's new Judiciary head, says a renowned human rights activist currently behind bars in Iran.

In a note published by the pro-Iranian Green Movement website, Kalrmeh, on Monday, Septemeber 15, Narges Mohammadi has insisted that "There were earlier only fifteen to twenty female inmates in the Tehran's main prison, while at the present there presently 56."

Furthermore, the award-winning physicist has disclosed that female political prisoners are under tight restrictions.

"Illegal detention centers, outside the supervision of the state-run Prison Organization, have sprouted around the capital city Tehran, where suspects are kept in solitary confinement and interrogated," Mohammadi has asserted.

Her note echoes earlier statements by civil and political activists complaining about a significant increase in the number of political detentions, harsh verdicts against rights activists and more pressure in recent months.

Since the mid-ranking cleric, Ebrahim Raeesi was appointed as the head of the Islamic Republic Judiciary, activists have raised alarm that "systematic" pressure on dissidents by security and intelligence officials "have crucially intensified."

Meanwhile, referring to a 29-year old woman, Sahar Khodayari, who recently committed suicide by setting herself on fire to protest a possible prison sentence, Mohammadi has voiced her indignation from prison.

The 29-year old Khodayari was arrested in March trying to attend a men's football (soccer) match in Tehran. Based on an unwritten law, women are not allowed in Iran to watch men's sports competitions in arenas.

After being released on bail, authorities told Sahar that six-month jail sentence could be waiting for her. Sahar protested the sentence and committed suicide by self-immolation.

"Sahar exposed a burning pain in the hearts (of human rights defenders) in an excruciating way”, Ms. Mohammadi has added.