Target: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
Goal: Release student activist Maryam Shafipour, jailed in Iran for peacefully expressing her views
Twenty-seven-year-old student activist Maryam Shafipour has been sentenced to seven years in prison because she was peacefully demonstrating her opinions. Shafipour was a member of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi’s presidential campaign since 2009, and authorities sought to squash her spirit and opinions by sentencing her to prison on strange and unfair charges. This peaceful activist should not be in jail, but should be sent back to school to continue her education.
On July 27, 2013, Shafipour was arrested at the Evin Prison Court where she appeared for her summons. She was not given a trial and instead was taken to Evin Prison where she remained in solitary confinement for 67 days and then spent eight months in “temporary detention,” where her case judge refused to release her on bail. Shafipour has been charged with two crimes, “propaganda against the regime” and “assembly and collusion against national security.” Examples of Shafipour’s crimes were publishing her views and opinions on Facebook, applying for a student visa which was found on her laptop, and portraying a dark image of the Islamic Republic. Her family is currently fighting against these charges.
In 2009, sweeping arrests were made of Iranian students who expressed their support for the opposition party. Scores of these students were arrested and faced vaguely worded charges like the ones Shafipour is up against. Shafipour’s peaceful activism efforts barred her from continuing her education, and she will spend seven years wallowing in a prison. This result shall not come to pass. Sign this petition and aid Shafipour’s plight.
Dear Ali Khamenei,
I am writing this letter to demand the immediate release of student activist Maryam Shafipour, and for all charges to be dropped against this woman. It is a grievous violation of human rights to jail this student for peacefully expressing her views. Even if her views do not align with the current political party, the government is lashing out irresponsibly. There will always be opinions that clash with the current party; the Iranian government should heed these views, not punish the people.
You are doing your country a great injustice by jailing students like Maryam Shafipour. These young people will be the future of your country and obstructing their education will be the ruin of society. Release Maryam Shafipour at once.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Yaadaavar via flickr