Human Rights Defender Atena Daemi Freed After 7 Years

Jan. 24, 2022, 11:58 a.m.

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); January 24, 2022: Prominent human rights defender, Atena Daemi has been released from Rasht Central Prison after spending seven years behind bars without a day of furlough.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, prominent human rights defender, Atena Daemi was released from Rasht Central Prison on January 24.


First arrested in 2014, she spent 86 under interrogations in the solitary confinement cells of Ward 2A in Evin Prison which is under the authority of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Corps. She was sentenced to 14 years in prison on charges of "propaganda against the system", "assembly and collusion against national security", "blasphemy and insulting the Supreme Leader" and "concealing evidence". Facebook posts and her activism against the death penalty were used as part of the evidence against her. With the consent of the appellate judge, Atena was previously released on a bail of 600 million Tomans from the women's ward of Evin Prison on 15 February 2016. Following her release, on 28 September 2016, the Appeals Court reduced her sentence to 7 years. She was arrested on 28 November 2016 to serve her sentence.

Atena was sentenced to an additional three months and one day on 3 April 2017
for “insulting the Supreme Leader, insulting state officials, propaganda against the system, resisting arrest and assaulting the arresting officer.” She was sentenced to a further three years and seven months on 18 July 2019 for “insulting the founder and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic and propaganda against the system,” which was upheld in September 2019. Following a group sit-in in protest to the crackdown on the November 2019 nationwide protests, Atena was sentenced to another two year imprisonment and 74 lashes by Branch 24 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court presided over by Judge Amouzad on on charges of “propaganda against the system and disrupting prison order” on 2 July 2020.

Atena was transferred from Evin Prison to Rasht Central Prison in handcuffs and shackles on March 16, just days prior to the Iranian new year, Norouz. On August 12, she went on an indefinite hunger strike in protest to the frequent and unjustified restrictions on prisoners’ right to telephone use which had forced her parents to travel from Tehran, leading to their contraction of Covid-19. She broke her hunger strike after her demands were partially met on August 17 by sending a message from prison which she was punished for by having her phone rights removed again. She was not granted a day of furlough throughout her seven year detention.