Accessibility links

Breaking News

Jailed Iranian Political Activist 'Seriously Ill' - Daughter

Hengameh Shahidi, a political prisoner who was arrested in early March, is seen in a photo said to be taken in Tehran, undated

The daughter of a jailed Iranian political activist says her mother is seriously ill.

Hangemeh Shahidi's daughter, Parmis Taherian announced on her Twitter account, "After 180 days of my mother's solitary confinement, and by her lawyer's perseverance, I succeeded to meet her for half an hour."

According to Ms. Taherian, her mother’s health condition is really "very grave", and her relatives are deeply worried, but she did not elaborate on the nature of her illness.

Hengameh Shahidi, 43, was arrested on June 26, 2018, in Kish Island, south of Iran.

On December 1, the official news agency of the Iranian government, IRNA, reported that Shahidi has been sentenced to more than twelve years in prison on unspecified charges.

"Given the confidentiality of the proceedings and the security nature of the case I cannot disclose details about the court's verdict," her lawyer Mostafa Tork Hamedani told IRNA.

He said Shahidi had received twelve years and nine months in prison, plus temporary bans on joining political groups, online or media activity, and leaving the country.

Immediately after placing Shahidi behind bars, Tehran's Prosecutor-General, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi accused her of blatantly insulting the Islamic Republic's judiciary and its authorities on a daily basis.

Shahidi was the advisor on women's affairs to reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi during the disputed 2009 presidential election and has been a fierce critic of the judiciary for locking up journalists and activists.

When the 2009 election sparked rigging allegations and mass protests, she was locked up for three years on charges of propaganda against the system, taking part in illegal gatherings and acting against national security.

Shahidi was detained again in 2017 for several months and accused of working for foreign-based media groups.

She later wrote open letters denouncing the charges as "baseless lies", while also criticizing reformist politicians for failing to support dissidents.

In May, a copy of her latest court summons was uploaded on her Twitter account, in which she was accused of "making insults".