Imprisoned Human Rights Activist to Sue IRGC Agents for Violent and Illegal Arrest
Atena Daemi Taken to Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward To Begin Seven-Year Sentence
Human rights activist Atena Daemi, 29, was taken into custody from her home in Tehran by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Intelligence Organization on November 26 and transferred to Evin Prison to begin a seven-year prison sentence.
“After being taken to Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward, Atena contacted her family by phone and told them she will sue the IRGC agents who used violent and illegal means to arrest her before being formally summoned to prison,” an informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“The agents, who were in civilian clothes, said they had come to Atena’s home to carry out the summons. They came inside and forced their way to Atena’s room, which she had locked. The family called the police and when they arrived, the IRGC agents finally agreed to show the warrant which was to be carried out two days later on November 28.”
Daemi is a prominent activist in the field of children’s rights as well as a vocal opponent of the death penalty. She was arrested on October 21, 2014 by the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization and accused of meeting families of political prisoners, criticizing the Islamic Republic on Facebook and condemning the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners. In February 2016, after 16 months in detention, she was released on 500-million-tomans bail, approximately $166,000 USD.
On September 29, 2016 Iran’s Appeal Court upheld guilty verdicts against Daemi and three other activists for “assembly and collusion against national security” and “insulting the supreme leader.” Daemi and Omid Alishenas were sentenced to seven years in prison while Aso Rostami and Ali Nouri were each sentenced to two years in prison.
Daemi’s mother Masoumeh Nemati told the Campaign in February 2016 that her daughter organized art classes for street children and participated in gatherings supporting children suffering from the fighting in Syria’s Kurdish regions. She also posted comments critical of social issues in Iran on her Facebook page, which was subsequently shut down.
“During her detention Atena suffered from severe headaches and weakening eyesight, as well as showing symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and doctors had said the stressful conditions in prison were dangerous for her health,” Nemati said.