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Woman sentenced to 50 lashes in Iran for attending Kurdish rally

KURDISH woman Zamaneh Zeiwy has been sentenced to 50 lashes after being arrested in Iran for attending a pro-independence rally.

She was arrested in September for taking part in street celebrations after Iraqi Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence from Iraq.

Saqiz court in Iran’s western Kurdistan Province, charged Ms Zeiwy with “disturbing public order” and sentenced her to flogging.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Association said it expected additional charges to be announced by the revolutionary court against Ms Zeiwy simply because of her support for an independent Kurdistan.

More than 92 per cent of voters in Iraqi Kurdistan opted for independence in the September 25 referendum, prompting celebrations over the border in Iran.

But Tehran, which fears support for independence could spread to Iran, responded with a heavy hand by making arrests and placing a number of largely Kurdish cities under military curfew.

Almost seven million Kurds live in Iran, with the majority based in the north west of the country bordering Turkey and Iraq.

They have a long history of persecution by Iranian authorities who have repressed Kurdish social, political and cultural rights.

Kurdish activists, writers and teachers have been targeted by police forces and even sentenced to death for their work.

A Kurdistan Human Rights Association study showed that 580 people were executed in Iranian prisons between October 2016 and October 2017.

Twenty per cent of those hanged were Kurdish, according to the report.

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