Iran: Women’s rights activist Mojgan Keshzvarz transferred to Qarchak Town Prison

02.07.19

On 26 June 2019, women’s rights activist Mozhgan (Maya) Keshavarz was suddenly sent to Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court and a hearing was held without the presence of a lawyer, as confirmed by human rights lawyer Mohammad Moghimi on his personal facebook account.

This summons came as a travesty of the national law which requires the defendant to be notified one week before the scheduled hearing.

The charges raised against Keshavarz are for "giving flowers to veiled women in Tehran Metro on the International Women's Day, 08 March"; "gathering and colluding against national security"; "propaganda against the system"; "encouraging people to commit corruption and prostitution" and "insulting the sacred". 

It should be noted that the court did not agree with her release on bail and she was transferred to the Qarchak Town Prison after the hearing. The situation in the Qarchak prison is known to be terrible, and in line with the principle of separation of crimes, the defendant should be kept away from others with a criminal history.

Keshavarz, who is a mother of a 9-year-old girl, was arrested on 25 April 2019, at her home in Tehran. She was beaten in front of her daughter, arbitrary arrested and taken away to an unknown location.

Prior to her arrest, another women’s rights activist, Yasman Aryany, was arrested in Karaj on 10 April 2019. Her mother, Monirah Arabshahi, was also arrested on 11 April 2019 when she went to Vozara Detention Center in Tehran to follow-up on her daughter’s arrest. They were arrested after posting a video that went viral on International Women’s Day. In it, they are seen together with Keshavarz walking without headscarves through a Tehran metro train, handing flowers to female passengers.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) calls for the immediate release of all women's rights defenders in Iran including Mozhgan Keshavarz and Yasman Aryany, and her mother Monirah Arabshahi, who have been subjected to arbitrary detention and inhuman treatment during their arrest, and are absurdly due to be trialed for celebrating the International Women’s Day