Target: President Hassan Rouhani
Goal: Secure the release of Maryam Shafipour, who has been imprisoned for months without being charged with any crime
A friend describes Maryam Shafipour as “a very gentle person, intelligent, and beautiful.” But the twenty-five-year-old activist has been imprisoned for what have vaguely been described as “political reasons” for over six months with little access to her family, medical care, and legal representation. Her health is reportedly suffering and she has been ill-treated in prison. Help defend Maryam Shafipour against those who would do her harm–sign the petition to free Maryam Shafipour.
Shafipour was a student at Qazvin University when she became involved in political activism, keeping a blog and participating in the Female Students for Karroubi presidential campaign in 2009. According to a friend, Shafipour was adamant that the 2009 elections were rigged, which likely has some bearing on her arrest. She was given a one-year suspended sentence in 2010 for her political activism and was detained in 2013 when she responded to a court summons.
After her arrest, she was “held in solitary confinement for over 50 days and…denied bail.” Her parents have since been allowed to visit her, and after some struggles she was also permitted access to a lawyer. Following medical complaints, she was transferred to a hospital briefly, but officials refused to give her parents any information regarding her whereabouts or the state of her health. Despite her ordeal, she has yet to be charged with any crime. Her supporters fear that she will be charged with “threatening national security,” a charge which a friend says “can be defined and implemented so broadly in Iran that practically anyone who walks in the street can be sentenced to prison for it.”
Take a stand against the deplorable treatment of Maryam Shafipour. Sign the petition and demand that she be released immediately, and that in the meantime she be granted contact with her family, access to legal representation, and adequate medical care.
Dear President Rouhani,
I am writing to express my concern over the fate of Maryam Shafipour and my outrage at how she has been treated by the Iranian government. Although she was arrested over six months ago, Shafipour has not been charged with any crime. She has, however, been subjected to solitary confinement, denied access to her family and lawyer, held incommunicado, and beaten. Her house has also been attacked and her family threatened.
It is telling that Iranian government has had half a year to come up with a charge against Shafipour and yet nothing has materialized. Maryam Shafipour is a student and activist, not a criminal. She should be at university, not held against her will, ill-treated, and tortured. I demand that she be granted immediate access to adequate health care and legal representation, allowed contact with her family, and kept safe from torture. Most importantly, I demand that she be released immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: InkSm3ar via DeviantArt