Like so many, Atena Daemi dreams of an end to the death penalty in Iran. She’s written Facebook and Twitter posts criticizing the country’s execution record. She’s handed out leaflets. And she’s taken part in a peaceful protest against the execution of a young woman. Simple actions which sadly, in Iran, take great courage.
Incredibly, these activities have been cited as ͞evidence͟ of her criminal activity and now she’s been sentenced to seven years in jail. Her trial was a sham – it took just 15 minutes and she was convicted on trumped-up charges, including ͞gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security.
Her cruel treatment is one more bitter example of the intense crackdown on people who speak out for a fairer Iran. Dozens have been imprisoned, and many others face surveillance, interrogations and drawn-out prosecutions, forcing them into silence.
Atena has suffered so much already. She’s been beaten, pepper sprayed and forced into solitary confinement, but she continues to fight for human rights. Earlier this year, she went on hunger strike to protest her transfer to a notorious prison. Her health has deteriorated alarmingly while in prison. She must be released immediately.