Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Jail Sentence for Iranian Student: Maryam Shafi' Pour

Amnesty International
‍Amnesty International
April 25, 2014
Appeal/Urgent Action

Student and activist Maryam Shafi’ Pour was sentenced to seven years in prison on 2 March, by Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. It had found her guilty of “spreading propaganda against the system” and “assembly and collusion against national security”. She was also banned for two years from any “cyber activities”, including internet use, and the press. According to the opposition news website Kalame, Maryam Shafi’ Pour was told during her interrogation that unless she made a “confession” her prison sentence would be more than five years.

Maryam Shafi’ Pour, who had been banned from pursuing higher education because of her student activism, has been detained since 27 July 2013. She spent over two months in solitary confinement in section 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison, which is under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence, with no access to a lawyer, before she was transferred to the prison’s general ward.

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. The charges against her appear to relate to her peaceful activities and she has been accused of having contacts with relatives of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.

In December 2013 Maryam Shafi’ Pour passed out after experiencing an irregular heartbeat, and was taken to the medical clinic in Evin Prison. Amnesty International understand that Maryam Shafi’ Pour has been receiving medication in prison for her irregular heartbeat. After two months of solitary confinement, she began suffering from skin rashes for which she has not yet received treatment.

Please write immediately in Persian, English or your own language:

Calling on the Iranian authorities to release Maryam Shafi’ Pour immediately and unconditionally, as she is a prisoner of conscience, held for her peaceful activism;

Calling on them to ensure that she is granted any medical attention she may require;

Calling on them to overturn the ban on pursuing university studies imposed on Maryam Shafi’ Pour.



Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

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.


Jail sentence for Iranian student


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 have reported that she has been accused of having contact with relatives of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.

She was transferred to a hospital outside prison, where she was held briefly, on 16 September 2013. The prison authorities refused to tell her parents why she was transferred, or to which hospital. She had complained to her family about numbness in one of her hands.

In March 2014 the Prosecutor General’s Office of Tehran banned Maryam Shafi’ Pour’s parents from face-to-face visits, allowing only “cabin” visits (behind a glass screen). Her family was told this was because they had given media interviews about Maryam Shafi’ Pour’s case.

Maryam Shafi’ Pour was an agricultural engineering student at the International University of Qazvin before she was suspended and later expelled for her peaceful student 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 recognizably 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.

As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Iran is required to guarantee and not 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: 100/14 Index: MDE 13/022/2014 Issue Date: 25 April 2014