Iranian activist denied release despite end of sentence

Student activist in Iran denied release from prison even though her sentence elapsed in July

Photo by: Social Media
Photo by: Social Media

Bahareh Hedayat

Bahareh Hedayat, a leading Iranian student activist, was imprisoned six years ago. Even though she’s now eligible for release, Iranian authorities are keeping her in jail.

Hedayat was imprisoned in 2009 and given a sentence of seven and a half years after the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She is a founding member of the "One Million Signatures" campaign, a petition for women’s rights in Iran.

“She has been in jail for six years for being a peaceful and unambiguous critic of Ahmadinejad,” Hedayat's husband, Amin Ahmadian told the Guardian over the phone from Tehran. “And now a few wards away in that same prison, some of the former president’s most senior deputies are held for corruption.”

Ahmadian was threatened and instructed not comment on his wife’s imprisonment. “The authorities have put pressure on us because of speaking out about Bahareh’s situation in jail,” he said. “They’ve threatened us, and have told her in jail that they’ll arrest me if we keep speaking out. They want to keep us silent.”

Only 18 Women are held at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, in which Hedayet spent 6 years. She has serious health issues according to her husband.

“Bahareh has kidney complications and reproductive health issues,” Ahmadian said. “They don’t let her have access to medical care. I’ve pleaded with her not to go on a hunger strike, she has already endured six years in jail, that’s enough, but if she’s not released, she has told me she would go on a hunger strike.”


TRTWorld and agencies