Iran: Female human rights activist launches hunger strike

atena daemi

A human rights activist and child rights advocate has launched a hunger strike protesting prison sentences issued for her sisters, Ensieh and Haniyeh.

29 year-old Atena Daemi staged a sit-in on April 3 yet received no response to her demands.

“Her eye vision has reduced and she had been vomiting for a few consecutive days. Doctors said her condition may had been caused from a stroke,” according to the activist’s mother.

The Daemi sisters Atena, Ensieh and Hanieh were sentenced to three months and one day behind bars, including the days previously held in custody, for “insulting the officers on duty” by Tehran’s Quds Judiciary Complex.

The sisters had been exonerated in a previous court over allegations of preventing authorities from acting based on an  arrest warrant.

Tehran’s 2nd Penal Court, however, convicted all three sisters based on the “indisputable and incontestable” charge of “insulting agents while on duty.”

The sentences for imprisonment of Ensieh and Hanieh Daemi were suspended for one year because of the “convicts’ special circumstances.”

Atena Daemi was arrested on November 26, 2016. She was reportedly brutalized, intimidated and arrested without a warrant and taken to Evin Prison. Her sisters were also severely beaten.

“We will have you behaved in such a way you no longer think of getting out of the prison,” authorities told her during her transfer to prison, according to the civil activist.

Subsequent to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ raid on her home, Daemi filed a formal complaint against the hardline paramilitary and domestic security force, accusing them of excessive use of force and unlawful behavior in conducting the raid without presenting a warrant.

The complaint, however, has remained without any respond.

Before her arrest, Daemi used to criticize the officials for Iran’s high execution rate through her postings on Facebook, denounce the death penalty by drawing painting on the walls, visit graves of those killed during the uprising protesting the 2009 presidential election results, and report on political prisoners’ conditions to human rights organizations abroad.

She is currently serving her seven-year sentence in Evin Prison for “association and conspiring against the state,” and “insulting the supreme leader.”

Amnesty International issued an urgent action statement on December 13, 2016, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Atena Daemi. Ms. Daemi had been imprisoned merely for criticizing the number of executions in Iran, distributing brochures about the death penalty and protesting the execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari, according to Amnesty.

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