Iran: Calls for Urgent Action Faced with Forced Transfer of Female Political Prisoner
The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has reported that political prisoner Atena Daemi has been suddenly and forcibly moved to Lakan Prison in Rasht. This transfer took place on the evening of Tuesday 16th March, on the eve of Persian New Year.
Forced transfer political prisoner
Before being moved, Ms. Daemi had been in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. She was not notified that she would be transferred elsewhere and was not allowed to contact her family or pack her own belongings. She was cuffed at the feet and wrists and taken from the prison at night.
The Women’s Committee of the NCRI has expressed its concern about this latest development and calls on the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to condemn the regime’s decision to move Ms. Daemi.
Calls on the Special UN Rapporteur
The Women’s Committee also calls on the Special Rapporteur to urgently launch an investigation into the conditions that female political prisoners in Iran face. Furthermore, the Committee would like pressure put on the regime to compel it into ending its cruel and inhumane treatment of political prisoners.
Ms. Daemi is an activist for children’s rights. She was arrested for the first time in October 2014 and was imprisoned for 16 months. Her crime was to participate in a protest outside the UN Office building in the capital city of Tehran. The protest was to condemn the execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari.
She was arrested again in November 2016 and was taken to Evin Prison. She was sentenced to five years imprisonment. In 2017 she embarked on a 54-day hunger strike which she voluntarily put an end to when the prison sentences for her two sisters were rescinded.
74 lashes and a further 5 years imprisonment
Ms. Daemi was due to be released from prison after serving her full sentence on 4th July 2020. However, she was given another sentence of 74 lashes and a further 5 years imprisonment.
These additional sentences were all because of trumped-up charges against her that were filed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence.
Ms. Daemi co-signed a letter that protested the forcible relocation of Maryam Akbari Monfared, another political prisoner, to Semnan Prison.
Women’s Committee of the NCRI also condemns the regime
As well as condemning the regime’s forcible relocation of political prisoners, the Women’s Committee of the NCRI also condemns the regime for its horrific treatment of female political prisoners across the country and the merciless pressure put on them.
The organization calls on the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran to meet with female political prisoners in Evin Prison who also risk being forcibly transferred elsewhere. These include Maryam Akbari Monfared, Atena Daemi, and Golrokh Iraee.
Cases like this young woman’s are all too common in Iran. The regime continues to mistreat political prisoners as a way of deterring activists and to warn other political prisoners that they risk not leaving prison when their sentences have been served. Urgent action is required as the regime will continue on this course of action until it has no choice but to stop.