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Sepideh on her release from Evin, March 15 2023, describing Khamenei as mythical monster "Zahak"

As we reported in our March 17, 2023, press release, Sepideh Gholian has been held in Evin Prison after being arrested just four hours after her released on "amnesty". On April 13, IranWire reported that a relative of hers described physical abuse and rape threats she is suffering in custody.

Her relative told IranWire that upon entering the ward, a muscular man rushed toward Gholian and asked, "Are you a little elf who insulted Agha?”

“I should cut your tongue off," the man added.

The man attempted to pull the activist’s tongue out and beat her for several hours while threatening her with rape.

"We will tie your hands and feet and take good care of you!" the interrogators told Gholian.

In Ward 209, she was forced to sleep on the floor in the corridors without any blanket.

She was informed that she would be transferred to Tehran's Fashafouye prison. When Gholian expressed surprise at being sent to a male prison, her jailers said, "A men’s prison is the right place for a woman like you. You want to draw men's attention with your work, and we’ll help you achieve your goals.”

On March 19, she was taken to Fashafouye prison, where she was left in a car in front of the prison for hours with a siren blaring, until she was eventually returned to Evin.

Hearings in her case are scheduled to start on April 18.

"Freedom is not be given but to be taken"

A BurnTheCage post in Farsi on April 13 also reported: "Sepideh Gholian through publishing a letter from inside the jail announced that 'As long as the Islamic Executioner Regime is in power and the humble explorers of the spring (those who are the beginners of the flow of the struggle) and others who oppose the tyranny are hostages of the Islamic Regime' she 'will not attend at any of their courts'. She sees no legitimacy for the 'showcase kangaroo courts' of the Islamic Republic whose chiefs 'have signed the execution order of revolutionaries'.

"This letter was Sepideh's response to the spokesperson of the judicial system the had said that Sepideh was accused of 'Insult' toward the Supreme Commander (Khamenei) and her case was transferred to the Revolutionary Court of Tehran."

"Our promise still stands. Freedom is not to be given but to be taken, and I, Sepideh Gholian, stand by the promise I made to the people of Iran," she wrote.