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Iranian Activists To Be Awarded Human Rights Prize

Majid Tavakoli
Majid Tavakoli
It's rare to have Iran-related news coming out of Prague, but here's an encouraging one for all those fighting for more rights and democracy inside the country.

Two activists and representatives of Iran's student movement, Abdollah Momeni and Majid Tavakoli, are this year's recipients of the Homo Homini Award, which is awarded annually by the Czech NGO People in Need "in recognition of a dedication to the promotion of human rights, democracy, and nonviolent solutions to political conflicts."

Momeni was released a few days ago after spending more than six months in jail, including reportedly some 100 days in solitary confinement. A former leader of the student movement and an outspoken critic of the Iranian establishment, he campaigned for reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi ahead of last year's disputed presidential vote. He was arrested in late June and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Here is a picture of Momeni after his release.

Outspoken student activist Majid Tavakoli remains in jail, where he's reportedly being held in solitary confinement. Tavakoli has been sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison. He was arrested after giving a speech at Amir Kabir University on Students' Day in December. His arrest led to a campaign in his support.

The People in Need Foundation said the two represent the older and younger generation of Iran's student movement, which has been at the forefront of the fight for democracy and human rights in the Islamic republic.

Marek Svoboda, the head of the human rights center of the Czech group, has praised Momeni and Tavakoli for playing a significant role in the student movement.

The awards ceremony will be held in Prague on March 10.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.


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