Back to top

Sharmin Meymandi Nejad


Sharmin Meymandi Nejad is a human rights defender, a prolific writer, winner of national literary prizes and the founder of IAPSRS. On 21 June 2020, the human rights defender was arrested together with two other board members of IAPSRS. He remained detained for four consecutive months, one of which was spent in solitary confinement while access to medical care was denied. The human rights defender has also been carrying out in-person workshops with a creative and theatrical approach for children in deprived neighbourhoods, which has reportedly brought on charges of “encouraging immorality and/or prostitution” against him.


Hope for political reform in Iran surfaced when President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013 and dozens of opposition political figures and human rights defenders were released. However, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement of HRDs continue to be prevalent.

Human rights defenders and journalists are arrested, detained and prosecuted in unfair trials. HRDs continue to receive death threats and are subjected to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention. They are refused bail or receive extreme bail conditions. HRDs are additionally subjected to systematic surveillance and their family members are targeted. Journalists have been subjected to flogging for criticising the government.