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Iran leader backs Islamic laws on women's rights

[JURIST] Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [official website; BBC profile] has warned that women's rights activists should not attempt to reconcile or replace the Sharia [JURIST news archive] with international conventions or western ideals of women's rights, saying Wednesday that the current Islamic jurisprudence may only be altered if new insight is supported by the Qur'an and Sunnah [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Khamenei's comments, made to a gathering of women ahead of Thursday's celebration of Prophet Mohammad's daughter's birthday, follow Monday's sentencing [Payvand News report] of women's rights activist Delaram Ali to 34 months in prison and 10 lashes for participating in a peaceful protest [JURIST report] in June 2006.

The protest concerned Iran's interpretation of the Sharia, which has been held to require a woman to obtain her male guardian's permission to work or travel, to prohibit women from serving as judges, and to give a woman's testimony only half the value of a man's. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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