Free Shahnaz Akmali, Mother of Slain Iranian Protester
- UN, OHCHR, EU, European Parliament, White House, State Department,
On Wednesday, January 15, Shahnaz Akmali, the mother of Mustafa Karimbeigi, reported to Evin Prison to begin serving her one-year sentence.
Akmali was sentenced in November on charges of propaganda against the regime, in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh.
Mustafa Karimbeigi, Akmali’s son, was one of the protesters killed in December 2009 protests against the disputed presidential election result earlier that year. He was killed by security forces near Enqelab Square in Tehran.
In a video given to IranWire before reporting for her sentence, Akmali speaks directly to the Iranian people, saying: "After killing Mustafa and interrogating us nine days later, the security forces brought Mustafa's body to the cemetery for burial. When I was carrying my son's coffin, I promised him to be his voice. I did not want to just sit at home and cry. I contacted the families of others who were also killed. I visited them, sorrowing with them, and said we should continue the work of our children. I became the mother of everyone who was shouting, I became the mother of [activist and political prisoner] Arash Sadeghi; the mother of all Iranian activist youth."
"They killed my child,” Akmali adds, “so I tried to be the mother of thousands of other young men and young women. I am going to jail for being the mother of all activists."
Akmali also said in a recent tweet that: "I take my son's picture with me to prison because I know it gives me a strong heart. I am a mother whose crime is wanting justice and asking a simple question that was never answered: who killed my son?"
"Thanks to everyone who has stood with my family. We are relatives and we have no shelter. Keep your hope for good days in the future."
The Ministry of Intelligence in the government of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not allow Mustafa Karimbeigi’s family to bury him in Tehran. The family was was forced to bury their son in the cemetery of Joqin, a suburb of Shahriar, on the outskirts of Tehran.
WHEREAS: Shahnaz Akmali, is now imprisoned in Tehran's infamous Evin Prison solely for her peaceful social activism on behalf of Iranian protesters like her own son, who was slain by regime forces in 2009 solely for raising his voice in public;;
AND WHEREAS: Ms. Akmali is therefore a prisoner of conscience whose conviction and imprisonment are ILLEGAL and a clear violation of her rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly & association as guaranteed by Articles 18 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (to which Iran is a signatory) as well as Article 24 of the Iranian Constitution;
AND WHEREAS: The Islamic Republic of Iran is a regime whose cruelty toward the families of Iranians their forces have murdered has a decades-long history which must finally be addressed at all levels of the international community;
THEREFORE: We, the undersigned demand that the international community bring all possible pressure to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to IMMEDIATELY and UNCONDTIONALLY release Shahnaz Akmali, and rescind her illegal conviction.
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The Free Shahnaz Akmali, Mother of Slain Iranian Protester petition to UN, OHCHR, EU, European Parliament, White House, State Department, was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.