Iranian labor rights activists Anisha Assadolahi, Atefeh Rangriz and Neda Naji and Iranian journalist Marzieh Amiri have been arbitrarily detained, without access to a lawyer, for weeks and accused of spurious national security offences in connection with a peaceful International Workers’ Day gathering in Tehran on 1 May 2019. They were initially held in prolonged solitary confinement amounting to torture or other ill-treatment. Now held next to women convicted of violent crimes, Atefeh Rangriz and Neda Naji are at risk of assault.
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Prosecutor General of Tehran Ali Alghasi Mehr
Office of the Prosecutor
Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square
H.E. Majid Takht Ravanchi
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212 687-2020 I Fax: 212 867 7086
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Mr Alghasi Mehr,
Iranian labor rights activists Anisha Assadolahi, Atefeh Rangriz and Neda Naji and Iranian journalist Marzieh Amiri have been arbitrarily detained for weeks without access to a lawyer and inappropriately accused of national security offenses. They are prisoners of conscience as they have been targeted solely in connection with a peaceful International Workers’ Day gathering held in Tehran on 1 May 2019.
Following their arrest on 1 May, Atefeh Rangriz and Neda Naji were held in solitary confinement in section 209 of Tehran’s Evin prison for several weeks, without access to their families, which constitutes torture or other ill-treatment. On 6 July, they were beaten by a prison guard after an argument started over their refusal to wear a chador on the way to the prison clinic. As a result, Neda Naji experienced a temporary impairment in her vision and Atefeh Rangriz suffered arm and shoulder injuries. On 8 July, after weeks of interrogation by intelligence officials, they were brought to the prosecutor’s office in Evin prison and charged with “gathering and colluding… against national security”, “spreading propaganda against the system”, “disrupting public order” and “insulting officers on duty”. Since mid-July, they have been held in Shahr-e Rey prison in the city of Varamin, where women convicted of serious violent crimes are held in unsanitary conditions. There are frequent reports from the facility of assaults against inmates both by other inmates and prison staff. This has placed them in danger of assault, as well as exposure to infectious diseases. Anisha Assadolahi is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment in section 209 of Evin prison, where she has been held since 18 June without access to her family or lawyer. Marzieh Amiri was arrested on 1 May after she sought information about those arrested at the gathering. She suffers from epilepsy and it is feared that the stresses associated with imprisonment will trigger seizures. Currently, she is experiencing dizziness and drops in her blood pressure.
I urge you to release Anisha Assadolahi, Atefeh Rangriz, Neda Naji and Marzieh Amiri immediately and unconditionally and drop all charges against them. Pending their release, please ensure that they can receive regular visits from their lawyers and families, as well as adequate medical care, and that Neda Naji and Atefeh Rangriz are transferred to Tehran’s Evin prison, where they would be held with other women targeted for politically motivated reasons.