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WOMEN IN IRAN LECTURE TODAY

Journalist and Iranian women's rights activist Mehrangiz Kar, who was jailed in April 2000 for her writings and speeches on women's rights, will speak at the Old Dominion University Friends of Women's Studies Dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The evening program will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m., in the North Cafeteria of Webb University Center. Reservations for the dinner, which is $20 ($10 for ODU students), should be made with Kathy Pim, 683-3823, by Feb. 14.

A human rights attorney, Kar has published widely on women's issues in Iran as an advocate for the democratic, political, legal, constitutional and human rights of the Iranian people.

She was imprisoned in 2000 for participating in a conference in Germany at which political and social reform in Iran was publicly debated.

While she was in the United States, her husband, a cultural critic known for his writings on cinema, was kidnapped by agents of the government
against Islam and implicated friends and family. Kar's friends advised her that, in view of what had happened, it would not be safe for her to return
home. Kar knew that her husband's suffering was on account of her own political activities.

Kar will speak Feb. 21 on the legal constraints on Iranian women, the government's efforts against them and the ongoing struggle for women's
rights in Iran. "I see the women of Iran at the beginning of something far greater," she says.

Through the intercession of the European Union, Kar's husband, who is 74, was finally released and given much-needed medical treatment, but only to
be arrested again four months later. He remains under house arrest.

Kar would like to return to Iran, not only to see her husband, but also to continue her legal work and her activism. However, she knows that it would
still not be safe.

Kar has received support from Yale University, American University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the National
Endowment for Democracy. In 2004-05 she was a Radcliffe fellow, supported by the Scholars at Risk program.

Parking for the dinner is available in Lot 27, at the corner of Elkhorn Avenue and 49th Street.

This article was posted on: February 3, 2006

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