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Poet and women's rights activist Simin Behbahani walks past a banner reading, "One million signatures to change the biased laws" in Tehran. (file photo)
Iran's One Million Signatures campaign, which fights to gather public support against discriminatory laws in the country, has received the Women of the Year award from U.S.-based "Glamour" magazine.

The campaign is operating under a lot of pressure from Iranian authorities. As Glamour notes:

"Iran’s religious, conservative government sees the campaign as a real threat. Authorities have arrested more than 50 campaign members, who have been punished with everything from lashings to solitary confinement in prison. The group’s website has been shut down by the government 21 times. Members hold clandestine meetings in living rooms and basements, and activists say they are under constant surveillance and subject to phone taps."

Last year's recipient was Iranian human rights lawyer, and Nobel Peace Prize laureata, Shirin Ebadi.

Click here to see a video of the awards ceremony, hosted by CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
Thomas Arendt
CHISINAU -- At least 12 inmates in a jail outside Moldova's capital, Chisinau, say they have started a hunger strike to protest their poor conditions in detention, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Thomas Arendt, a German citizen serving a fraud sentence in the Pruncu jail, told RFE/RL by phone on November 11 that the temperatures in the cells are unbearably low and there's no light.

Arendt and another inmate, who asked to remain anonymous, said beatings and even torture are common at Pruncu.

A representative from Human Rights Watch's Moldovan office told RFE/RL that it has information about the hunger strike but says the authorities have barred the group from visiting the inmates.

A jail administration official told RFE/RL that only one inmate has filed an official complaint about the conditions at Pruncu.

The same official said the temperature in the cells is 18-20 degrees Celsius.

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