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Maryam Karimbeigi sentenced to three years and seven months in prison

Status: 
Sentenced
About the situation

On 1 August 2022, the lawyer of Maryam Karimbeigi announced that branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court has sentenced the woman human rights defender to three years and seven months in prison on the charge of “gathering and colluding against national security;” one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against the state;” and one year in prison, a fine and 74 lashes for keeping alcoholic beverages at home.

On 9 July 2022, the woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi was released on a bail of 7 billion IRR.  The bail order was issued on the same day, during a court session held at Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court.

On 28 June 2022, woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi, who has been held in Ward 209 of Evin prison since 14 June 2022, announced to her family that she has ended her hunger strike. She had started the hunger strike to protest the judicial harassment and charges of “gathering and colluding against national security” and “propaganda activity against the state”, which were brought against her because of her justice seeking activities.

On 18 June 2022, woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi, in a phone call to her family from Evin prison, announced that she had a hearing on a new charge of “gathering and colluding against national security” on 15 May 2022. The human rights defender had a hearing on the charge of “propaganda activity against the state” on 14 May 2022 when she was arrested following a raid on her house and the confiscation of her electronic devices.

On 14 June 2022, the house of woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi was raided, her laptop was confiscated, together with that of her friend who was visiting, and Maryam Karimbeigi was arrested. The human rights defender was transfered to Evin prison and had a hearing on the charge of “propaganda activity against the state.” Consequently, on a telephone call to her mother she announced that she will start a hunger strike in protest against the judicial harassment. She has been interrogated on several occasions since February in relation to her pursuit of justice and campaigning against solitary confinement in Iran.

On 21 February 2022, Iranian security officials raided the house of woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi looking for the woman human rights defender, while she was absent. The security officials, who had in their possession a search and an arrest warrant, left a court summons, according to which Maryam Karimibeigi should be present at Shahid Moqadas (Amniat) Court, Branch 33 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, within five days. The nature of charges against Maryam Karimbeigi is still unknown.

About the HRD

Maryam Karimibeigi is a woman human rights defender who since 2009 has peacefully sought justice for the killing of peaceful protesters in Iran. She is the sister of the well-known Moustafa Karimbeigi, a 26-year-old protester who was shot and killed by Iranian security forces in 2009 during the widespread protests against Iran’s presidential election results. Maryam Karimbeigi has been advocating for the rights of political prisoners, against the use of solitary confinement and other abusive treatment and precarious conditions of prisoners in Iran. Together with her mother Shahnaz Akmali, they have made numerous attempts to seek justice for Moustafa Karimbeigi and other victims of protests in Iran, resulting in repeated threats by the Iranian government against the family.

18 July 2022
Maryam Karimbeigi sentenced to three years and seven months in prison

On 1 August 2022, the lawyer of Maryam Karimbeigi announced that branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court has sentenced the woman human rights defender to three years and seven months in prison on the charge of “gathering and colluding against national security;” one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against the state;” and one year in prison, a fine and 74 lashes for keeping alcoholic beverages at home. After the application of article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code, the most severe single sentence of three years and seven months in prison would be applicable.

The lawyer of the woman human rights defender also stated for the court to find Maryam Karimbeigi guilty on the charge of “gathering and colluding against national security,” there should be a second defendant complicit in the case as it is a crime of collective nature, however, he did not see any other names in the court verdict, except from the name of a singer in exile, with whom the woman human rights defender took a selfie after a concert in Turkey. The human rights defender and her lawyer will appeal this sentence.

12 July 2022
Maryam Karimbeigi released on bail

On 9 July 2022, the woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi was released on a bail of 7 billion IRR.  The bail order was issued on the same day, during a court session held at Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court.

She had been detained since 14 June 2022 in Evin prison, and had gone on hunger strike the first two weeks of the detention to protest against the trumped up charges of “gathering and colluding against national security” and “propaganda activity against the state”, which were brought against her because of her justice seeking activities.

1 July 2022
Maryam Karimbeigi ended hunger strike

On 28 June 2022, woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi, who has been held in Ward 209 of Evin prison since 14 June 2022, announced to her family that she has ended her hunger strike. She had started the hunger strike to protest the judicial harassment and charges of “gathering and colluding against national security” and “propaganda activity against the state”, which were brought against her because of her justice seeking activities.

On 14 June 2022, the house of the woman human rights defender was raided, her laptop was confiscated, together with that of her friend who was visiting, and Maryam Karimbeigi was arrested.

21 June 2022
A new charge brought against woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi

On 18 June 2022, woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi, in a phone call to her family from Evin prison, announced that she had a hearing on a new charge of “gathering and colluding against national security” on 15 June 2022. The human rights defender had a hearing on the charge of “propaganda activity against the state” on 14 June 2022 when she was arrested following a raid on her house and the confiscation of her electronic devices. The woman human rights defender has started a hunger strike while in detention in Ward 209 of Evin prison in protest against the judicial harassment. The grounds on which the new charge has been brought against her are yet to be known. However, the woman human rights defender has been interrogated on several occasions since February in relation to her pursuit of justice and campaigning against solitary confinement in Iran.

15 June 2022
House raid, arrest and charging of woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi

On 14 June 2022, the house of woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi was raided, her laptop was confiscated, together with that of her friend who was visiting, and Maryam Karimbeigi was arrested. The human rights defender was transfered to Evin prison and had a hearing on the charge of “propaganda activity against the state.” Consequently, on a telephone call to her mother she announced that she will start a hunger strike in protest against the judicial harassment. She has been interrogated on several occasions since February in relation to her pursuit of justice and campaigning against solitary confinement in Iran.

On 21 February 2022, the house of Maryam Karimbeigi was also raided by security officials looking for the woman human rights defender while she was not home. During the raid, three mobile phones, two laptops, books, her masters dissertation and a memorial table with pictures of individuals persectuted for protesting since 2009 were confiscated. In April, the security department of the Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch in Tehran, where she is currently pursuing a masters degree in sociology, telephoned and threatened her with expulsion from the university.

12 April 2022
Maryam Karimbeigi threatened to be expelled from university

On 10 April 2022, woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi was told via a telephone call by the security department of her university, that she has been expelled from her studies at the Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran where she is currently pursuing a masters degree in sociology. The woman human rights defender has been summoned to the university’s security office on 13 April 2022 to receive the explanation as to why she has been expelled.

The woman human rights defender has gone through a series of interrogations in connection with her numerous attempts to seek justice for her brother, Moustafa Karimbeigi, and other peaceful protesters who were killed in Iran. Maryam Karimbeigi and her family have been repeatedly threatened by the Iranian government in this connection. During the latest interrogation, the woman human rights defender was threatened to be expelled from her studies.

In late February 2022, Maryam Karimbeigi’s house was raided by security officials who were looking for her while she was absent. During the raid, three mobile phones and two laptops containing her masters thesis were confiscated, together with a memorial table with pictures of peaceful protesters who were killed in Iran since 2009.

24 February 2022
House raid and judicial harassment of woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi

On 21 February 2022, Iranian security officials raided the house of woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi looking for the woman human rights defender, while she was absent. The security officials, who had in their possession a search and an arrest warrant, left a court summons, according to which Maryam Karimibeigi should be present at Shahid Moqadas (Amniat) Court, Branch 33 of Tehran Revolutionary Court, within five days. The nature of charges against Maryam Karimbeigi is still unknown.

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Maryam Karimibeigi is a woman human rights defender who since 2009 has peacefully sought justice for the killing of peaceful protesters in Iran. She is the sister of the well-known Moustafa Karimbeigi, a 26-year-old protester who was shot and killed by Iranian security forces in 2009 during the widespread protests against Iran’s presidential election results. Maryam Karimbeigi has been advocating for the rights of political prisoners, against the use of solitary confinement and other abusive treatment and precarious conditions of prisoners in Iran. Together with her mother Shahnaz Akmali, they have made numerous attempts to seek justice for Moustafa Karimbeigi and other victims of protests in Iran, resulting in repeated threats by the Iranian government against the family.

On 21 February 2022, the house of woman human rights defender Maryam Karimbeigi was raided by security officials looking for the woman human rights defender, while she was absent. During the raid three mobile phones, two laptops, books and a memorial table with pictures of the victims of protests since 2009 were confiscated. The security agents left a court summons, according to which Maryam Karimibeigi should show up in front of Shahid Moqadas (Amniat) Court, Branch 33 of Tehran Revolutionary Court within five days. The nature of charges against Maryam Karimbeigi is still unknown.

This is not the first time that Maryam Karimbigi and her family have been targeted due to their involvement in seeking justice and campaigning in Iran. Maryam Karimbeigi has not been able to work since she was terminated from the Iranian Chamber of Guilds in 2015 because of her human rights work. Additionally, in September 2019, Shahnaz Akmali, the mother of the woman human rights defenders was sentenced by the Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court to one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda against state” on account of her peaceful activities as a member of the Mothers of Laleh Park, a group of grieving mothers seeking justice for the victims of political violence.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the on-going harassment against Maryam Karimbeigi. It believes the woman human rights defender and her family are being targeted as a result of their legitimate and peaceful human rights work in defence of prisoners’ rights and of victims of protests in Iran.