Category Archives: women’s rights

Mahdieh Golru released after three months in detention.

Mahdieh Golru was released today on 700 million tomans bail after spending three months in temporary detention.

The student activist who is banned from continuing her education at Allameh University was detained on October 26 during a raid of her home by IRGC forces. Several days before her arrest Golru had taken part in a peaceful gathering outside the Tehran parliament building in protest of the acid attacks that had taken place on women in Isfahan. To date the perpetrators have not been apprehended.

After Golru’s arrest a group of close to 700 civil activists signed a letter to president Rouhani urging him to exercise his power and apply the law to secure her immediate release.

Other groups within the country and abroad also voiced their concern and demanded that authorities release the activist. Amnesty International in an “urgent action” said the prisoner of conscience had not been given access to a lawyer during prolonged interrogations and demanded her unconditional release.

Previous to her last arrest, Mahdieh Golru who had been detained several times during the past years was released on May 19, 2012 after enduring 30 months behind bars stemming from her peaceful activism. The ban on her education was not lifted after her release despite her efforts.

It is noteworthy that the past weeks have seen a new wave of arrests targeting women’s rights and student activists. Among those recently detained by Intelligence agents are Zahra Khandan and Saha Mortezayi from Amirkabir University, and Fereshteh Toosi from Allameh University.

Source: Daneshjoonews

Mahdieh Golru

Mahdieh Golru transferred to a 2-person cell in Ward 2A of Evin prison

According to the Jaras news website, Mahdieh Golru, political and civil activist who has been held behind bars for over 50 days in Evin prison has been transferred to a double occupancy cell. However the double cells are the same size as those used for solitary confinement.

The activist was arrested on October 26th after taking part in a peaceful rally across the parliament building following a wave of acid attacks on women in the city of Isfahan. She was held in solitary confinement while undergoing interrogations for about 45 days before being transferred to a double occupancy cell.

A few weeks ago about 300 civil activists signed a letter to the president demanding that Mahdieh Golru be immediately released. In the letter they said, “She is one of hundreds of people who acted completely within the frameworks of the law, and through a civil manner conveyed to authorities their worry about the acid attacks that had taken place in the city of Isfahan. She is a well-known civil rights activist who joined other civil and women’s rights activists on October 22nd in a sit-in gathering across the parliament in an effort to bring attention to the plight of women who face the terror of being attacked with acid. But unfortunately 4 days after these peaceful demands, on October 26th Mahdieh Golru was arrested and to date she is being held in solitary confinement. Mahdieh Golru’s aim was simply to echo the voices of young women who were distressed and outraged by the acid attacks that had taken place.”

Golru was previously detained in December 2009 during the time of mass unrest following the contested presidential elections and was handed a prison sentence of 2 years and 4 months, which was reduced to 2 years by the appellate court. While she was in prison, the student activist who is a member of the Right to Education Council was handed another 6 months for “propaganda against the regime” stemming from a letter she wrote from prison in commemoration of Student Day.

She was released after spending 30 months behind bars. After her release authorities refused to lift the ban on her education and she was not allowed to continue her studies at her university.

source: Jaras

Mahdieh Golru

Saba Sherdoust: Instead of arresting the perpetrators of the acid attacks, Mahdieh Golru was detained.

Daneshjoonews – While officials have made no arrests of the assailants who committed the recent acid attacks, their intense focus has been detaining those who spoke up against the attacks.

Mahdieh Golru who previously spent 30 months of her youth behind bars for her activism in support of the right to an education, is again in prison since her October 26 arrest by IRGC forces. Authorities have not disclosed the reason for her arrest but it is clear that it is not unrelated to Golru’s presence among crowds demanding that the government apprehend the perpetrators of the acid attacks.

The student activist who was banned from continuing her education at Allameh University is now also deprived of her freedom. We spoke to her friend, journalist Saba Sherdoust about the most recent updates on the condition of Mahdieh Golru.

According to Mrs. Sherdoust, her friend Mrs. Golru was arrested without notice as she was leaving her home on October 26th. She had taken part in a peaceful gathering outside the Tehran parliament building in protest of the recent acid attacks on women in Isfahan.

Mrs. Sherdoust, when and how did Mahdieh Golru get arrested?

Mahdieh was arrested on Sunday October 26th as she was leaving her home to go to work. It appears as though after seizing her, the officials took her back into her home and confiscated her personal items such as her cell phone and laptop computer.

What is the reason for her arrest and which government entity arrested her?

Before her arrest on Sunday, we had gathered across the parliament building on Baharestan Street alongside other women in protest of the acid attacks that had taken place against women in Isfahan. The next day Mrs. Golru got in touch with me and said that several unknown numbers, which she had not been able to answer because she was in her exercise class, had contacted her.

Considering her recent activities, I can say with certainty that Mrs. Golru was arrested for taking part in the rallies against acid attacks on women.

In addition as far as I know, Mrs. Golru’s activities were not political and were strictly geared towards social issues and women’s issues.

Were the security agencies sensitive to the issue of acid attacks or were they concerned about civil society becoming active again?

Both. When the outrage of the people triggered gatherings and turned into civil dissent, opposition to the acid attacks turned into what was deemed as a security issue. Others who were covering the protests were also arrested, among them an ISNA photographer and 2 other members of the press who had reported on the attacks.

On the other hand, the ruling establishment has intensified its pressure on civil activists in general. These events demonstrate that they will not tolerate activists taking any part in the civil arena. The rulers don’t wish see civil rights activists taking part in social issues, cooperating with NGO’s or taking part in non-violent rallies.

The fear of an increase in civil participation has resulted in heightened threats, summons and arrests, causing growing pressures on activists. Of course these conditions also existed during the presidency of Mr. Khatami. Foreign policy in the country moved forward as the internal pressures persisted. This goes on because being active and civil participation could pave the way towards democracy.

Has Mahdieh had any contact with the outside since her arrest and where is she kept?

She has made brief phone contacts about every 5 days to say how she is doing.

Considering she was arrested by the IRGC, she is being kept in the detention units under their control. To date she has not seen her attorney. But her family continues to follow-up on her situation with those in charge and at the prosecutor’s office.

Mahdieh Golru & Saba Sherdoust

Maryam Sadat Yahyavi arrested

Maryam Sadat Yahyavi, Green movement activist was arrested at her residence on Sunday November 2nd.

According to Kaleme the civil rights activist was previously among the many who were arrested on February 14, 2011 (25 Bahman). She was subsequently sentenced to 3 years in prison, which was later reduced to one year. However after an official medical report showed that she was suffering from a terminal disease, her prison term was suspended.

Last summer Maryam Yahyavi was among a group of young Green activists who were interrogated after being summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence for distributing green candles during a religious ceremony.

The reason for her detainment is not known and it is unclear which government agency ordered the arrest of the activist. Maryam Sadat Yahyavi has cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment when she arrested.


Maryam Yahyavi

Mahdieh Golru, detained activist allowed one brief phone call to her husband

The Jaras website reports that Mahdieh Golru, women’s rights and students’ rights activist who was detained in the wake of protests against recent acid attacks in the city of Isfahan, was allowed to make a very brief phone call to her husband Vahid Lalipour after being held incommunicado, and only reported that she was ok.

According to the Women Citizens Association, the arrest warrant for Mahdieh Golru was issued by Mr. Khorshidi from the Investigative Branch 2 of Evin prison and the court is reviewing her file. Per reports Mahdieh Golru has been transferred to a solitary cell in Evin prison but there is no indication of which ward she is being kept in.

Mahdieh Golru is a women’s rights activist who is a member of the Women Citizens Association. She was previously detained in December 2009 during the time of mass unrest following the presidential elections. She was released after spending 30 months behind bars.

On October 22, Golru took part in peaceful protests against the wave of acid attacks that had taken place in the city of Isfahan. She was among a crowd who gathered across the parliament building in Tehran and voiced their concern about the safety of women in public.

On October 26, security agents raided the home of Mahdieh Golru, and detained her after conducting a massive search. During the raid her personal items such as her computer were confiscated. Golru has been held incommunicado besides the brief phone contact with her husband and there is no news of her condition.


Mahdieh Golru

Mahdieh Golru, women’s rights activist arrested in wake of acid attacks

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Mahdieh Golru, student’s rights, human rights and woman’s rights activist has been arrested.

On the morning of October 26th, Intelligence agents raided the home of Mahdieh Golru and arrested her. During the raid, her personal items such as her computer were confiscated. At the same time her place of work was raided and items were also confiscated at that location.

In all likelihood Mahdieh Golru’s arrest is related to her protest of the recent acid attacks against women in the city of Isfahan. In the past weeks, a number of women in Isfahan were targeted by assailants on motorcycles and doused on the face and body with acid. The attacks had a similar pattern with two men on a motorcycle; one threw acid as the other was driving. Per various reports the attacks caused severe injuries and some of the victims were disfigured or blinded. Witnesses indicated that the women seemed to be targeted because they were deemed as not conforming to the Islamic dress code.

The acid attacks coincided with the recent proposal of a new law protecting agents who were assigned to ensure the public upheld the Islamic dress code. This along with the initial refusal of the authorities to acknowledge the attacks or make efforts to find the assailants has enraged the public and sparked a new wave of protests in various cities in Iran. In the past days Golru was among thousands in the city of Tehran who gathered across the parliament building and shouted slogans demanding that the government protect the safety of women in public.

Government officials have warned the public and news agencies to not associate the attacks with “bad hijab.” The hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami said, “sites and newspapers who have accused the Islamic regime and the faithful must be prosecuted.” A few days ago, ISNA photojournalist Arya Jafari who had taken pictures of the protests that were published on Iranian news sites along with AFP, was arrested.

Yesterday following the past few days of protests, hundreds of security forces thwarted a gathering planned to demand government protection for women. Riot police and security forces carrying batons and shields told the protestors they had to disperse because they didn’t have a permit to hold a rally. A group of the protesters later came back with their faces covered but were chased away by baton wielding security forces. Government officials have dismissed the acid attacks as a random act perpetuated by sick individuals.

Mahdieh Golru is among a group of women’s rights activists who have been vocal about the atrocities of the acid attacks. She along with other women’s rights advocates had received suspicious and threatening phone calls in the past days.

Mahdieh Golru, women’s rights activist and member of the Right to Education Council, was first arrested in December 2009 during the time of mass unrest following the disputed presidential elections. In August 2010 Branch 54 of the Tehran Court of Appeals upheld her sentence of 2 years in prison on the charges of “propaganda against the regime,” and “gathering and collusion with intent to harm national security.” On May 19, 2012, after spending 30 months behind bars, she was released. Student’s rights activist Mahdieh Golru is a “starred” student who despite her efforts has been banned from continuing her education.

On October 22, Mahdieh Golru in her last Facebook post before her arrest today, wrote of her experience before her 2009 arrest, during an altercation with security forces at her university; she was taunted and told she deserved to have acid thrown on her face.

In her post she wrote, “I am a woman. I am an Iranian woman who is afraid and is always worried.” She ended, “I am a woman, and these days, my womanhood scares me.”

Mahdieh Golru

Maryam Shafipour, student activist behind bars in Evin prison returned to the facility after a 6-day release on furlough

According to Sahamnews, 15 months after being held in prison without release, last week this political prisoner was finally allowed leave on furlough with a bail of 500 million tomans. Maryam Shafipour was detained without explanation on July 27, 2013 and was held under “temporary detention” for seven months under harsh interrogations before charges were filed.

Maryam Shafipour is a former agricultural engineering student from Qazvin International University who was suspended after 2 semesters and was expelled from university on her eighth semester due to her student activities, work on behalf of women and contents on her weblog. She was also a staff member of the women’s committee of Mehdi Karroubi’s presidential campaign.

Judge Salavati presiding over Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court handed Shafipour a 7-year prison sentence, which was appealed. Branch 54 of Tehran’s Court of Appeals later reduced the prison sentence to 4 years behind bars on the charges of “conspiring against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.”

Maryam Shafipour