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Farzaneh Jalali


Farzaneh Jalali is a Kurdish civil and women's rights activist. She graduated from Tehran University with a degree in anthropology and was a member of the Islamic Students’ Association. She was also editor of the Tehran University morning newspaper. Despite achieving high marks in the exams for her master’s degree in 2011, due to her civil and political activism, Farzaneh Jalali was not permitted to continue her studies. In the past few years, Farzaneh Jalali joined several women and children’s rights groups.


Hope for political reform in Iran surfaced when President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013 and dozens of opposition political figures and human rights defenders were released. However, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement of HRDs continue to be prevalent.

Human rights defenders and journalists are arrested, detained and prosecuted in unfair trials. HRDs continue to receive death threats and are subjected to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention. They are refused bail or receive extreme bail conditions. HRDs are additionally subjected to systematic surveillance and their family members are targeted. Journalists have been subjected to flogging for criticising the government.

Judicial harassment is one of the most common tactic used to silence HRDs and independent voices. Vaguely-worded charges of “acting against national security", “propaganda against the regime” or “enmity against God” are often used. Many are convicted in the absence of their lawyers, on the basis of "confessions" extracted under torture. In a number of cases the targeting of HRDs is ostensibly linked to their actual or perceived religious affiliation.