- EU /ONU / Amnesty International / International Community
Mahdieh Golroo, Student Activist and Member of The Council to Defend the Right to Education
Mahdieh Golroo, student activist deprived of a right to education was Head of the Islamic Association at the Economics Faculty at Alameh Tabatabai University and Vice President of the Islamic Association at Alameh Tabatabai University in 2006. As a result of her criticism of Ahmadinejad’s government and her efforts to save the Islamic Student Association, Golroo was deprived of the right to continue her education and expelled two months before her graduation from university.
Golroo had been previously arrested on two occasions as a result of following up on the cases of other expelled students. Golroo was arrested in 2007 and spent a week in prison after holding a sit-in in front of Alameh Tabatabai University in Tehran protesting her expulsion from university.
Prior to her last arrest, Golroo was sentenced to one year in prison related to one of her previous arrests. She completed this one year sentence, that was added to her other sentences.
Mahdieh Golroo was arrested along with her husband Vahid Lalipour at 7:00am on December 3rd, 2009 after their home was raided by a large number of security forces. The couple were taken to ward 209 at Evin Prison. The interrogators used the arrest of Golroo’s husband who had no record of political activities as a means to coerce her into cooperation and severely pressured her while in solitary confinement in order to obtain a false confession. Her husband’s arrest was designed to force Golroo into accepting the charge of “collaboration with the Mojahedin Khalgh (MKO)” a charge that Golroo has rejected to date. Golroo’s husband was eventually released on bail in the latter part of February after two months incarceration. He was rearrested a few months later and sentenced to one year prison in 2010.
On December 29th, 2010 during a visitation from behind a booth, Golroo informed her family of her dire physical condition as a result of her intestinal illness. Golroo was eventually transferred to Evin’s general ward reserved for dangerous criminals and murderers after enduring almost three months in solitary confinement. While incarcerated, Golroo developed an intestinal illness as a result of the poor sanitary conditions and lack of access to clean drinking water. Despite her dire physical condition, on March 9th, 2010, prison officials denied her visitation with her family for the third consecutive week. She was once again denied the right to see her family on March 17th, 2010 for a forth time. After many months of waiting, Golroo was finally allowed to visit with her family on March 29th, 2010.
Charges & Sentence
Golroo’s case was under the jurisdiction of the 26th Branch of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pir Abassi. She was charged with “propaganda against the regime” and “assembling and colluding against the regime”. Golroo’s first trial took place on April 5th 2010 and she was charged with propaganda against the regime, assembling and colluding against the regime and cooperation with the Mojahedin Khalgh (MKO). After her trial, Golroo was transferred to ward 209 and once again interrogated for several hours.
On April 11th, 2010 the 26th Branch of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Golroo to 2 years and 4 months in prison. Her lawyer Amir Raisian was banned by judicial and security officials from attending the proceedings and as a result Golroo was forced to present her defense personally and without access to legal council.
Golroo’s sentence was reviewed on July 7th 2010 by the 54th Branch of the Appeals Court and on July 25th, 2010 her sentence was reduced to 2 years on prison.
Mahdieh Golroo has suffered numerous physical ailments while incarcerated. On May 2nd, 2010 despite the fact that Golroo was in dire physical condition, prison officials refused to provide her with medical attention. On June 9th 2010 Golroo was reportedly transferred to the prison’s infirmary as a result of severe intestinal illness. Prison officials once again denied her access to a physician.
On July 22nd 2010, Golroo’s husband stated that during a recent visitation Golroo had complained of serious physical ailments such as an intestinal problem. Since the medicine she required for treating her condition was manufactured abroad, prison officials had not provided permission for the medicine to be brought to prison. On September 8th, 2010, Golroo was once again reported as being in dire physical condition.
During her incarceration like many other political prisoners, Golroo has been repeatedly denied visitation rights with her family and husband. On August 31st, 2010, after four months of being banned from visitation, Golroo was finally allowed to meet with her husband.
On November 7th, 2010, Mahdieh Golroo was transferred along with other female prisoners to the Methadone Ward at Evin prison. This ward is an enclosed hall approximately 30 – 35meters long containing dangerous criminals and drug addicts. Prisoners held in the Methadone ward are only provided access to fresh air for less than one hour a day. They are also deprived from access to books and using the prison library and banned from telephone privileges. The prisoners are deprived of face to face contact with their families and can only visit with them from behind a booth.
Mahdieh Golroo who had been repeatedly deprived of visitation rights with her family, went on a hunger strike on December 21st, 2010. Although she ended her hunger for a few days on December 28th she was formally charged with “negatively influencing public opinion” by branch four at Evin Court and as a result of these new charges Golroo resumed her hunger strike. She was also once again deprived of visitation with her family.
After two weeks she was allowed to meet with her family on January 5th 2011. One week later on January 11th, 2011 it was once again reported that Golroo has been deprived of visitation rights.
Mahdieh Golroo’s letter to the 17 Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike: “Don’t give up on the only right in our disposal.
Mahdieh Golroo’s Family Cannot Afford $500,000 Bail
Mahdieh Golroo Faces Serious Health Risks in Prison
Second Prison Visit for Mahdieh Golroo in 8 Months
Appeals Court Upheld Mahdieh Golrou’s Prison Sentence