Press release – Solidarity organisation calls for justice for student activist

27th July 2020

For immediate use

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) has appealed to trade unions in the UK to support the quashing of charges against Bahareh Hedayat, a well-known student activist, women rights campaigner and former political prisoner in Iran.

Ms Hedayat was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months imprisonment in Tehran on Saturday, 25 July. Ms. Hedayat has already spent most the past decade in prison on account of her leading role as a student leader and campaigner for human and democratic rights.

In addition to the prison term Ms. Hedayat was sentenced to a blanket 2-year ban on membership of any political or social organisation and 3 month’s unpaid work in a nursing home institution.

Ms. Hedayat was arrested in February 2020 during a routine regime crackdown after mass anti-government protests against the three-fold increase in petrol prices that shook Iran for days in November 2019.  The ‘evidence’ used against Ms. Hedayat was her sharing news of the protests on her twitter account and her having been present at a protest demonstration outside Amir Kabir University in Tehran.

The arrest of Ms Hadayat adds to the concerns CODIR has expressed recently about the health condition of human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, unjustly imprisoned since May 2015.

Ms. Mohammadi has been suffering from suspected COVID-19 symptoms, including coughs, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain and loss of smell since 29 June. Despite her worsening condition, the authorities continue to deny her health care, and refuse to inform her of the results of a test taken on 8 July.

The regime also confirmed recently that the death sentences of three young men, imposed in connection with the protests of November 2019 in Tehran had been upheld by the Supreme Court. This is despite widespread international condemnation and public outrage.

Jamshid Ahmadi, Assistant General Secretary of CODIR, has stated that the solidarity organisation regards the actions of the Iranian government in all of these cases as evidence that the regime cannot cope with internal dissent.

“This is not a regime which is in harmony with its own people”, said Mr Ahmadi, “the trumped up charges against Ms Hadayat and Ms Mohammadi, along with the example being made of these three young men, are symptomatic of a regime in fear for its existence.  Internal dissent is not something which is tolerated in Iran.  These activists are being punished for merely expressing their basic human rights.”

CODIR has stated that the harsh measures announced by the theocratic regime’s judiciary against the opposition in recent weeks are the regime’s signal that it will not tolerate any effective protest in the country.  Meanwhile, widespread discontent and protests against poverty, inflation and mass unemployment continue in Iran.



Further information for Editors

Contact Information for CODIR:-

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Further information on CODIR

CODIR is the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights.  It has been established since 1981 and has consistently campaigned to expose human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

CODIR has worked closely with the trade union movement in the UK, the peace movement, all major political parties and Amnesty International to press the case for an end to torture in Iran’s prisons.  Major trade unions in Britain are affiliated to CODIR and support its campaign for peace, human and democratic rights, and social justice in Iran.

CODIR has published Iran Today, its quarterly journal, since 1981, explaining the latest developments in Iran and the most effective way that the British public opinion could demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Iran.

In recent years CODIR has worked closely with Stop the War Coalition and has been vocal against any form of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the nation.





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