Iran: civil rights activist Atena Daemi detained


atena-daemiLondon, MEFD – According to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), 29-year-old Iranian civil rights activist Atena Daemi was violently arrested on the morning of 26 November at her father’s residence by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and subjected to threats. Ms Daemi was subsequently transferred by the IRGC to Evin prison in order to serve a 7 year prison sentence. A source close to the family told HRANA that: “A number of male and female officers entered this morning [26 November] the paternal house of Atena but did not show an arrest warrant or a card and the female officer twisted Atena’s hand…” which ultimately prompted the family to call the police. The source added that: “The IRGC officers had shown the warrant to the police in which it was indicated that they should attack the hideout of the accused. Even though it was her paternal house.” The source further disclosed that the IRGC officers repeatedly threatened Atena during the arrest, chanting “you’re finished” and “you will never return.” Atena Daemi was arrested on 21 October 2014 by the IRGC’s intelligence unit and spent 86 days in solitary confinement as she was subjected to interrogations before she was transferred to the women’s ward of Evin prison on 18 January 2015. On 14 March 2015, Atena was sentenced by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran Branch 28 to 14-years imprisonment for her peaceful civic activities, on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security, propaganda against the state, insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the supreme leader and concealing criminal evidence.” Atena was released on bail after sixteen months of detention on 15 February 2016 while she awaited the decision of the Appeals Court which ultimately reduced her prison sentence to 7 years. “By issuing draconian sentences against peaceful civil rights activists who merely oppose primitive practices such as the death penalty, which has no place in the 21st century, the Iranian authorities aim to deter others in engaging in activities which they consider to pose an existential threat to their medieval regime” said Mosa Zahed, executive director at Middle East Forum for Development. Middle East Forum for Development firmly condemns Atena Daemi’s arrest and calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release her from prison. atena-daemi-2

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