Branch 28 of Iran’s Supreme Court has rejected a request for a retrial by political prisoner Saba Kord Afshari’s lawyers.
She received a 15-year prison sentence, which was first reduced in the Court of Appeals but then again added to her prison term in May 2020.
Saba Kord Afshari was arrested on June 1, 2019 and was handed a 24-year prison sentence on August 27, 2019 by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court after being found guilty of removing her headscarf as well as ‘spreading propaganda against the state’ and ‘assembly and collusion’.
Authorities sentenced Kord Afshari to 15 years on charges of “promoting corruption and prostitution through appearing without a headscarf in public;” 1.5 years on charges of “propaganda against the state;” and 7.5 years on charges of “gathering and colluding against national security.”
In November 2019, the appeals court reduced the sentence by 15 years.
Kord Afshari’s lawyer Hosein Taj tweeted on May 30, 2020, that the activist’s acquittal had been overturned and that her 15-year prison sentence, which had been rejected by Branch 36 of the Appeals Court, would be enforced.
Thus, Saba Kord Afshari would be required to serve 15 years of her prison sentence, as per Iran’s sentencing guidelines.
Ms. Kord Afshari was first arrested in August 2018, during street protests in Tehran.
She was taken to Qarchak Prison and detained indefinitely. She was eventually sentenced to 1 year in prison for “disruption of public order” and transferred to the women’s ward of Evin Prison. Saba Kord Afshari was released in February 2019.
She continued to protest against human rights abuses by the Iranian regime, which led to her re-arrested in June 2019 and taken to Qarchak Prison of Varamin.
Then, on July 2, 2019, she was taken to the Ward 2A in Evin Prison which is under the control of the Intelligence Department of the Revolutionary Guards, and put under pressure to make forced confessions. Subsequently, she was returned to Qarchak and eventually transferred to the women’s ward of Evin on August 13, 2019.
Saba Kord Afshari was repeatedly pressured to make video confessions, something that she strongly resisted and refused to do.
Kord-Afshari’s mother, Raheleh Ahmadi, is also in prison for campaigning against the compulsory hijab.
She has been in Evin Prison serving a 31-month sentence since February 2020, for the charge of “assembly and collusion against national security,” after being arrested for removing her hijab in public.