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Iran Sentences Activists, Arrests Ex-Deputy

Iranian human rights activist Shadi Sadr
An Iranian court has convicted two activists in absentia and sentenced them to jail and lashes over a 2007 protest.

Shadi Sadr, 35, an award-winning women's rights activist, was sentenced to six years in jail and 74 lashes for acting against national security and harming public order, her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, said according to Iranian media reports.

Another activist, Mahbubeh Abbas-Gholizadeh, was sentenced to 2 and 1/2 years in jail and 30 lashes for similar charges, Mostafaei said.

The court tried the two women, both of whom are currently abroad, on May 8 over a March 2007 rally outside a revolutionary court where four fellow feminists were on trial. Iranian authorities arrested them along with 30 other protesters. They have 20 days to appeal the sentences.

Both have campaigned to abolish the practice of stoning adulterers to death.

Sadr, a lawyer and journalist, was awarded the Polish Lech Walesa Prize in September 2009 for promoting "human rights, freedom of expression, and democracy in Iran."

Authorities have also arrested Mohsen Armin, a former member of parliament who backs opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, his daughter said.

"This morning agents who appeared to have a judiciary warrant searched the house and took my father away," Armin's daughter, who was not named, told, website of the minority faction of reformist MPs.

Armin is a senior member of the Organization of Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution, which was banned by the Iranian authorities.

compiled from agency reports