She is called the Frank Sinatra of Iran, Marzieh. Seventy-four year old singer whose political ideals have forced her into exile. She is one of the 100 women being honored here in Rochester at The 100 Heroine Project, 20 of them from around the world, recognized for fighting oppression. Some of them putting their lives at risk.
It is a government that prompted Marzieh's fight. Iran's most popular musical entertainer, she was banned from performing when Ayatollah Khomeini came to power because she is a woman. Marzieh now wages her battle from France.
Marzieh: "The message of everybody who is here is freedom and emancipation. That is what we want to accomplish in Iran."
Courage Of '100 Heroines' Honored, Albany Times-Union, October 30
ROCHESTER -- An exiled Iranian diva, a Tibetan activist jailed for 27 years and an Indonesian who organized a strike at a Nike shoe factory were among "100 heroines'' honored Thursday for promoting women's rights.
They are writers and social workers, nuns and doctors, teachers and lawyers, and each one has distinguished herself by acting courageously to win freedom and equality for women worldwide, says The 100 Heroines Project.
In Iran, female musicians and singers have been banned from performing in public since the Islamic revolution in 1979. Marzieh, 74, one of Iran's best known singers, said she was silenced for 15 years until she left her homeland in 1994 and joined the Iranian resistance movement in Paris.
Iran Seminary Students Set New Rushdie Bounty, Reuters, October 31
TEHRAN - Students of Iran's major seminary have offered one month's worth of stipends as a new bounty on the head of British author Salman Rushdie, a hardline newspaper reported on Saturday.
The students and clerics at the seminary in the holy Shi'ite city of Qom, 120 km (75 miles) south of Tehran, "are ready to carry out the historic sentence of the great Imam Khomeini against the apostate Salman Rushdie," the paper said.
A hardline student group was also reported to have offered one 1 billion rials ($333,000) to anyone who carried out the fatwa.
MPs Pave Way for Ban on Mixed-Sex Hospitals, Reuters, November 1
TEHRAN - Iran's parliament on Sunday approved a measure paving the way for segregating hospitals for men and women according to strict Islamic rules.
In a session broadcast live on state radio, the conservative-controlled parliament passed an amendment to ensure funding for a controversial law to set up single-sex hospitals.
The Guardian Council, a powerful body which vets legislation, blocked the law last month after saying it lacked funding guarantees.
The law would apply to state and private hospitals and other health institutions, including pharmacies. Violators would face fines and risk having their license revoked.
[Ms. Sarvnaz Chitsaz, Chairwoman of NCR's Committee on Women described this bill as "an obvious example of the gender apartheid" practiced by the clerical regime.
"While Khatami's government does not have the funds to pay its employees, and as large groups of blue and white collar workers are laid off every day, the adoption of such costly bills - which the regime is unable to finance - will deprive women of medical services as never before," she added. ]
Palestinian Authority Says Iran Backing HAMAS, Agence France Presse, November 2
RAMALLAH - The Palestinian leadership accused Iran Monday of backing elements within the militant HAMAS group responsible for last week's suicide bombing and issuing statements threatening the Palestinian Authority.
"We in the Palestinian Authority have information, recently confirmed, that there is an Iranian element within the Islamic Resistance Movement which is behind these announcements and other recent operations," Tayeb Abdel Rahim, secretary-general to the Palestinian cabinet, told AFP.
"The Iranian faction within HAMAS receives money and training from Iran and is acting on instructions from Iran aimed at destabilizing Palestinian society and preventing Israeli withdrawals from Palestinian land," he said.
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