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Zia Nabavi and Hasti Amiri sentenced to one year in prison

Status: 
Sentenced
About the situation

On 25 October 2023, the Iranian United Students Associations announced that human rights defenders Zia Nabavi and Hasti Amiri one year prison sentences on the charge of “propaganda activities against state” were confirmed by Branch 36 of Tehran Revolutionary Court of Appeals. The human rights defenders had been tried in June 2023 on the charge of “propaganda activities against state” due to their advocacy in support of students’ rights and protesting against the poisoning of school girls in Iran.

About Zia Nabavi

Hasti Amiri is a woman human rights defender and campaigner for students’ rights who graduated with a law degree from Allameh Tabataba'i University. In 2022, she was sentenced to one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against state” for her advocacy in support of women’s rights and against death penalty. She served seven months in Evin prison from 31 July 2022 to 7 February 2023.

27 October 2023
Zia Nabavi and Hasti Amiri sentenced to one year in prison

On 25 October 2023, the Iranian United Students Associations announced that human rights defenders Zia Nabavi and Hasti Amiri one year prison sentences on the charge of “propaganda activities against state” were confirmed by Branch 36 of Tehran Revolutionary Court of Appeals. The human rights defenders had been tried in June 2023 on the charge of “propaganda activities against state” due to their advocacy in support of students’ rights and protesting against the poisoning of school girls in Iran.

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Zia Nabavi is a human rights defender and campaigner for students’ rights. In 2008, he was denied access to higher education due to his trade union activities and subsequently established “Defend the Rights to Education Committee” (DREC) together with a group of other students, who were deprived of the right to continue higher education in Iranian universities. The human rights defender is a graduate student of sociology at Allameh Tabataba'i University and a member of “United Students' Associations”, which consists of 35 Iranian student unions. It was formed in March 2017 as “an independent, pluralistic, and democratic student association” defending student union rights and social and political rights. It has not been recognized by Iranian authorities and its members have been targeted since October 2019.

Hasti Amiri is a woman human rights defender and campaigner for students’ rights who graduated with a law degree from Allameh Tabataba'i University. In 2022, she was sentenced to one year in prison on the charge of “propaganda activities against state” for her advocacy in support of women’s rights and against death penalty. She served seven months in Evin prison from 31 July 2022 to 7 February 2023.

On 25 October 2023, the Iranian United Students Associations announced that human rights defenders Zia Nabavi and Hasti Amiri one year prison sentences on the charge of “propaganda activities against state” were confirmed by Branch 36 of Tehran Revolutionary Court of appeals. The initial verdict had been issued in June 2023 by Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court due to the human rights defenders participation in a peaceful protest on 7 March 2023 against several incidents of poisoning of school girls in Iran.

In spring 2023, protests broke out against a series of deliberate poisonings of school girls across the country. The poisonings were believed to be in reprisal against women and young girls vindicating their rights not to conform to Iran’s compulsory veiling laws and participating in peaceful protests. As a result of their participation in the Woman, Life, Freedom protests, in addition to protests against this poisoning campaign, many university professors, teachers, students, trade unionists and defenders of the right to education have been targeted by the Iranian authorities.

In August 2022, human rights defender Zia Nabavi announced on his Instagram page that he has been denied entry to a doctorate study under country’s “general eligibility criteria” despite having ranked 13 on the Ph.D’s national exam entrance and having had successful academic interviews in different universities.

On 29 June 2021, Zia Nabavi was informed that he was sentenced to one year in prison for his activities in student unions and for peacefully protesting after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) admitted to shooting down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, killing all 176 civilians on board in January 2020. On 25 October 2021, Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals confirmed the one year sentence of the human rights defender without holding a court hearing. This verdict is awaiting implementation and the human rights defender can be summoned to serve the sentence at any given moment. He has previously served eight years and eight months in prison in conjunction with his human rights activities in support of the promotion of civil and political rights in the country.

Front Line Defenders is seriously concerned about the sentencing of human rights defenders Zia Nabavi and Hasti Amiri as it believes this is in reprisal for their peaceful and legitimate human rights work. Front Line Defenders. The sentencing of Hasti Amiri and Zia Nabavi is part of a wider crackdown on human rights defenders in the context of the protests in Iran where, since September 2022, hundreds of human rights defenders have been arrested, charged and subjected to hefty prison sentences without adherence to due process or fair trial rights.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Iran to:

  1. Immediately quash all sentences against Zia Nabavi and Hasti Amiri and ensure all charges against them are dropped;
  2. Ensure that Zia Nabavi and other students’ rights defenders are granted their rights to education in Iran;
  3. Cease targeting all human rights defenders in Iran and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.