Petition Tag - atena daemi

1. Free Iranian Children's Rights Activist Omid Alishenas, Sentenced To 10 Years

JUNE 19, 2015--Ten months after his arrest, children’s rights activist Omid Alishenas has been sentenced to ten years in prison for “assembly and collusion and propaganda against the state,” and “insulting the Supreme Leader.”

Mr. Alishenas’ mother told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the family is in shock following the sentencing. “This sentence is unfair and cruel. Omid’s activities should not have brought him 10 years in prison,” she said.

Simin Eyvazzadeh told the Campaign that her son’s lawyer has appealed the ruling, “but with this heavy sentence, we are really worried that his sentence would not be reduced too much at appeal.”

“They always told me not to disseminate information and that this would work in Omid’s favor, but it resulted in ten years in prison for my son. I am not going to keep quiet anymore, and I ask everyone for help to change my son’s heavy sentence. I want his release after ten months in detention,” Ms. Eyvazzadeh added.

Security agents arrested Omid Alishenas, 32, a civil engineer who is a children’s rights and civil activist, at his home in Tehran on September 4, 2014. He was held inside the IRGC’s Ward 2-A for nearly nine months under “temporary detention” orders, before being transferred to Evin Prison’s Ward 8. His trial was held on March 5, 2015 at Branch 28 of the Tehran Revolutionary Courts under Judge Moghisseh, and his lawyer was served with the verdict on May 13, 2015.

“Omid is so upset. He did not expect such a verdict at all. When he was first arrested, they kept saying he would be released in a couple of weeks, and then the investigative judge in the case once told Omid himself that his punishment would be a maximum of six months to one year in prison. Now he faces such a heavy sentence after nearly ten months in prison,” Mr. Alishenas’ mother told the Campaign.

“Omid was a children’s rights activist. He taught the kids how to paint and he set up painting exhibitions for them. He had also visited families of several political prisoners or those who had been executed, and he was arrested based on these activities. On the day he was arrested, the agents confiscated his computer hard disk, his CD’s, USB flash drives, and his cell phone, and based on information they extracted from them, they built up the charges against him,” Ms Eyvazzadeh continued.

“For example, because of the jokes they saw on his cell phone, they made up the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader” for him. But these jokes exist on half of all Iranian cell phones! Omid did nothing to cause insult,” said Omid Alishenas’ mother.

Simin Eyvazzadeh told the Campaign that the confiscated items have not been returned yet. “When they were taking Omid’s things, they said that we could have them back three days later. I have tried twice, and Omid’s lawyer wrote a letter once, but they have responded that they would review our request,” she said.

Omid Alishenas and four other young individuals, Atena Daemi, Ali Nouri, Atena Feraghdani, and Aso Rostami, were separately interrogated in the same case. Atena Feraghdani’s case was later reviewed independently, and she was eventually sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison. [Link:] Atena Daemi was sentenced to 14 years in prison. [Link:] The Campaign does not have any information about the cases of Ali Nouri and Aso Rostami.
SOURCE: Internatonal Campaign For Human Rights In Iran

2. Immediate & Unconditional Release of Atena Daemi, an Iranian Children's Rights Activist

Updated on November 30, 2016.

Atena Daemi was violently arrested at her home this morning by IRGC agents who reportedly threatened her with death and did not present an arrest warrant. Relatives of the 29-year-old human rights defender say she was taken to Tehran's notorious Evin Prison. According to the human rights news agency, HRANA, Atena has been transferred to the women's ward of this prison.

In response to her arrest, Amnesty International released a statement today from Philip Luther, the NGO's Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa: "This is an extremely distressing turn of events and we fear that Atena may be at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. She is being targeted by the Iranian authorities simply for her peaceful activism, in particular speaking out against the use of the death penalty and supporting women's rights. She should be immediately and unconditionally released."

Atena Daemi was first arrested on October 21, 2014 and taken to Evin Prison where she was detained in the IRGC-controlled solitary confinement ward for a total of 86 days. She was then transferred to the women's ward of this prison and detained there until she was temporarily released on February 15, 2016 on a bail amounting to approximately $180,000 USD. According to a report by Amnesty International, for the first 28 days of her detention, Atena was held in a cell that was "infested with insects and had no toilet facilities". During this time, she was reportedly interrogated while blindfolded every day for a period of about a month and a half, and she had no access to a lawyer. Atena's mental and physical health severely deteriorated during this time, but Iranian authorities denied her medical care for her growing health complications.

In spring 2015, Iranian authorities sentenced the peaceful human rights defender to 14 years in prison under four charges: "Propaganda against the regime", "Assembly and collusion against national security", "Blasphemy and insulting the Supreme Leader", and "Concealing evidence". In September 2016, her sentence was reduced to seven years in prison by an Iranian appeals court.

Atena's family have talked to several human rights groups about the details of the charges against her. She was reportedly accused of blasphemy and insulting Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, because of jokes and song lyrics found on her mobile phone. The assembly and collusion charge was reportedly issued to her for attending a peaceful gathering in front of the United Nations office in Tehran in support of the children of Kobane, Syria. Iranian authorities reportedly charged her with propaganda against the regime for her public Facebook posts in opposition to the death penalty and Iran's mandatory hijab law. She was charged with concealing evidence for not being able to provide her interrogators with the password to the Facebook page of one of her friends.

Iranian human rights activists and friends of Atena Daemi are urging the international community to raise public awareness about her unlawful arrest and imprisonment. Concerned individuals can utilize social media to spread the word about Atena's plight and also contact their local government officials to encourage them to call for her immediate and unconditional release.

Let's do our part to support political prisoners in Iran like Atena, who are largely ignored by world authorities and the Western media for the sake of economic deals and investment with the Iranian regime.

Time and again it has been proven that the Iranian authorities do respond to international pressure. By raising global awareness about Atena, we will be helping her receive a layer of protection, making it more costly for the Iranian authorities to continue abusing her.