Iran: student given seven-year sentence in renewed crackdown under Rouhani

‘Maryam Shafi’ Pour’s conviction is a chilling reminder of how little Iran’s human rights record has changed since 2009’ - Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui
 
The Iranian authorities must quash the conviction of a 27-year-old student who has been given a seven-year prison sentence because of her peaceful political activities, said Amnesty International. 
 
Yesterday, Tehran’s Revolutionary Court found Maryam Shafi’ Pour guilty of “spreading propaganda against the system”, “assembly and collusion against national security”, and “membership of the Advocacy Council for the Right to Education”, which is not officially recognised by the Iranian authorities. 
 
She was originally arrested on 27 July last year after being summonsed to appear before the Prosecutor’s Office at Evin Prison in Tehran. After her arrest she spent over two months in solitary confinement, with no access to a lawyer.  
 
Maryam Shafi’ Pour had been a member of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi’s presidential campaign during the 2009 elections. Previously, she had been barred by the authorities from completing her university education because of her political activism at university. Meanwhile, many other students are still denied the right to pursue their education because of their peaceful human rights or political activism.
 
During a wave of protests that followed Iran’s 2009 elections, scores of students were arrested and faced vaguely-worded charges on national security grounds. Maryam Shafi’ Pour is the first student arrested on such charges since President Hassan Rouhani came to power last year. 
 
Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said: 
 
“Maryam Shafi’ Pour’s conviction is a chilling reminder of how little Iran’s human rights record has changed since 2009, when students were arrested in droves during post-election unrest.
 
“That a student could be jailed for seven years merely for peacefully expressing her views or supporting an opposition politician defies belief. 
 
"Maryam Shafi’ Pour should be immediately and unconditionally released, and allowed to continue her studies. She should not spend the next seven years languishing in Evin Prison.”
 

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