Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Iranian Student Held for Peaceful Activism: Maryam Shafi’ Pour

Amnesty International
‍Amnesty International
January 13, 2014
Appeal/Urgent Action

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 write immediately in Persian, English or your own language:

Calling 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 release her immediately and unconditionally;

Urging them to allow her regular visits from her family and access to lawyers of her own choosing;

Calling on them to ensure that she is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and is granted any medical attention she may require.



Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khanenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid

Keshvar Doust Street

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

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

And copies 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)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.




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 recognisably 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.

Among those still imprisoned are student leader Majid Tavakkoli, winner of the Norwegian Student Peace Prize 2013, who is serving a nine-year sentence arising from a speech he made at a National Student Day demonstration; Bahareh Hedayat, student and women’s rights activist, is serving a 10-year sentence on charges including “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”; Sayed Ziaoddin (Zia) Nabavi, “starred” student activist and co-founder of the Advocacy Council, is serving a 10-year term on the charge of “enmity against God”; Majid Dorri, member of the Advocacy Council for the Right to Education, is serving a six-and-a-half year sentence, convicted of charges including “enmity against God”; and Navid Khanjani, a member the Association to Oppose Discrimination in Education (AODE), who has been banned from pursuing his university studies because of his Baha’i faith, is serving a 12-year sentence on charges relating to his work for human rights organizations.

As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Iran is required to guarantee and not to unduly restrict individuals’ right to freedom of expression, association and assembly. As a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Iran is also required to uphold the right of all Iranians to non-discrimination in regard to access to higher education (Articles 2 (2) and 13 (2) (C).

Name: Maryam Shafi’ Pour

Gender m/f: f

UA: 9/14 Index: MDE 13/003/2014 Issue Date: 13 January 2014