Amnesty International condemns seven year prison term for student activist

The Iranian regime’s authorities must quash the conviction of 27-year-old student Maryam Shafi’ Pour who received a seven year prison sentence because of her peaceful political activities, said Amnesty International.

“That a student could be jailed for seven years merely for peacefully expressing her views or supporting an opposition politician defies belief. Maryam Shafi’ Pour should be immediately and unconditionally released and allowed to continue her studies.

She should not spend the next seven years languishing in Evin Prison,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

Earlier the student had been barred by the authorities from completing her university education because of her political activism at university. Many other students are still denied the right to pursue their education because of their peaceful human rights or political activism.

“Maryam Shafi’ Pour’s conviction is a chilling reminder of how little Iran’s human rights record has changed since 2009, when students were arrested in droves during post-election unrest,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

“Iran will be at the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council at the end of March rejecting any criticism of its human rights record but, as long as people like Maryam Shafi’ Pour are sent to prison, this will be little more than rhetoric and business as usual for the Iranian authorities.”

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