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Amnesty International's Urgent Action for Maryam ShafiPour

IRAN: STUDENT HELD FOR PEACEFUL ACTIVISM

Banned student activist Maryam Shafi’ Pour has been detained for over five months on charges apparently related to her peaceful political activism.

Student activist Maryam Shafi’ Pour, who has been banned from pursuing higher education, has been detained since 27 July 2013. She spent over two months in solitary confinement in Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison, with no access to a lawyer, before she was transferred to the prison’s general ward. She was a member of the women’s committee of Mehdi Karroubi’s presidential campaign for the 2009 elections.

Maryam Shafi’ Pour’s first court hearing on national security-related charges, including “spreading propaganda against the system” was held on 21 October 2013 in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. It appears that the charges against her relate to her peaceful political activities. Her second court hearing, scheduled for 1 January 2014, was postponed due to the absence of the presiding judge. Maryam Shafi’ Pour received a one-year suspended prison sentence from a Revolutionary Court in Qazvin, south-west of Tehran, in 2010 for “spreading propaganda against the system”. If convicted on the new charges, she could have to serve her suspended sentence.

Maryam Shafi’ Pour reportedly passed out in December after experiencing an irregular heartbeat, and was taken to the medical clinic in Evin Prison. Amnesty International understands that Maryam Shafi’ Pour has been receiving medication for her irregular heartbeat in prison.

Please send a tweet, email or letter without delay. (Postage is $1.85.)

* Call on the authorities to drop the charges against Maryam Shafi’ Pour as they appear to be linked to her peaceful exercise of her rights, and to release her immediately and unconditionally.
* Urge them to allow her regular visits from her family and access to lawyers of her own choosing.
* Call on them to ensure that she is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and is granted any medical attention she may require.

Here is the contact information you need.

Leader of the Islamic Republic:
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid
Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info_leader@leader.ir
Twitter: @khamenei_ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary:
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

Please send a copy to

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
Hassan Rouhani
The Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Twitter: @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)

Additional information

Maryam Shafi’ Pour was arrested on 27 July 2013 after she was summoned to the Shahid Moghaddas Office of the Prosecutor, in Evin Prison. Security officials then searched her house and took some of her personal belongings. She was then taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison where she was held in solitary confinement for over two months. Her family members have reported that she has been accused of having contact with family members of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.

She was transferred to a hospital outside prison, where she was held briefly, on 16 September, The prison authorities refused to tell her parents the reasons for her transfer and the hospital to which she had been taken. She had complained to her family about numbness in one of her hands.

Maryam Shafi’ Pour was an agricultural engineering student at the International University of Qazvin before she was suspended and later expelled for her peaceful political activities.
Since the disputed presidential election in June 2009, scores of students have been arrested, summoned to serve prison sentences after being convicted in unfair trials on vaguely-worded charges not amounting to recognizably criminal offences, or otherwise banned, permanently or temporarily, from pursuing their education.

University disciplinary bodies temporarily or permanently ban students from pursuing their higher education in a process that has come to be known as assigning “stars”. Students who are alleged to have carried out anti-government activities, which generally entail the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly are often “starred”. The allocation of three “stars” results in the student being completely banned from university education.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/003/2014/en/6571b1a9-f7e2-423d-a52c-d76ae3e05fbe/mde130032014en.html

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