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In an open letter from 20 women, cellmates in Evin demanded the release of environmentalist prisoners. IEC volunteers have translated it into English. Among the signatories are Nahid Taghavi and Sepideh Gholian.

Clockwise from top left: Niloufar Bayani, Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, Houman Jokar, Amirhossein Khaleghi Hamidi, Taher Ghadirian, Morad Tahbaz, Sepideh Kashan Doust, and Sam Rajabi. Composite: Radio Farda

The release of a number of political and ideological prisoners as well as recent detainees is one of the results of the "Women, Life, Freedom" movement. However, there are other innocent people still in prisons because of the opinions of the bailiffs (interrogators) as well as the judicial-security authorities. There are many innocent people who are still in prisons, under inhumane and unjust treatments due to authoritarian government policies and power struggles {amongst them}. Among environmental activists who lovingly and compassionately served to preserve the environment of our country in the most remote parts of the country and have given their hearts for our land.

While all the observers have acknowledged that the cases against these environmentalists are made up, the countless cases of human rights violations do not end/stop here in these made up charges . Some of them are as follow:

Two years of detention in the security cells of the IRGC and eight months of solitary confinement, interrogations under torture and severe mental and psychological pressure, being under physical torture, falsification, slander, threats, intimidation, trickery and deception, insults and threats and sexual harassment, threatening to inject air and paralyzing ampoules/needles, distorting the accused's writings, showing photos and videos of Kavous Seyed Emami* and interrogating the accused's sister and father... making frightening noises and banging on chairs and walls, sending him meeting his wife with blood-stained clothes and torn lips,...lack of access to the case until the court day, because of it being classified as confidential and high security, lack of access to a lawyer until court hearings, having no knowledge of the charges/indictment till the court date, the judge insulting the defendants and expelling them from the trial session and the court, without announcing the verdict and finally, deprivation of parole, leave/furlough that are directives issued by the judiciary.

Therefore, according to the proceedings and the issuing of rulings that are even against the laws of the government, these verdicts are basically invalid and lack legal validity.

We, the cellmates and signatories of this letter, regardless of our political and ideological differences, are united in insisting on the standards and principles of human rights and we believe that the freedom of Iranian environmental activists and experts; Sepideh Kashani, Nilofar Bayani, Homan Jokar, Sam Rajabi, Morad Tahbaz, Amir Hossein Khaleghi, Taher Qadirian and all the innocents imprisoned in prisons are essential. Even after  their release, the suffering and nightmare that has cast a shadow on their lives, their families, and the Iranian society will not be compensated.


Narges Mohammadi, Nahid Tagavi, Zahra Zehtabchi, Fatemeh Mothni, Mahvash Shahriari, Fariba Kamalabadi, Sepideh Qolian, Bahareh Hedayat, Faezeh Hashemi, Golrokh Iraei, Vida Rabbani, Shakila Monfared, Alieh Motlabzadeh, Noushin Jafari, Hasti Amiri, Raha Asgarizadeh, Zila Makundi, Maleeha Jafari, Golareh Abbasi, Bahareh Soleimani.

[*Kavous Seyyed Emami was an environmental activist, a Doctor in Sociology and a Professor at Emam Sadegh University. He was arrested during the round-up of environmental activists in February 2018, and died two days later under suspicious circumstances in Evin Prison. The Iranian regime has declared the cause of his death to be suicide.]