Facing 7 years in prison for standing up for women’s rights and against the death penalty
Atena Daemi has been wrongly convicted and badly abused while in prison for her work opposing the death penalty and supporting women’s rights
Atena Daemi is a dedicated defender outspoken advocate who opposes the use of the death penalty and defends the rights of women in Iran. She has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for her peaceful human rights activities. Peacefully advocating for justice and equality is not a crime.
Atena has been kept in horrific conditions; in a jail which is overcrowded and unhygienic. She has been denied access to urgent medical assistance. She has been sexually assaulted by prison guards and has undergone a number of hunger strikes to protest the conditions of her detention. Women human rights defenders are at particular risk of persecution because they defy traditional gender norms by publicly advocating for human rights.
And now, in prisons across Iran, there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19. This raises grave fears that prisoners like Atena are at risk of contracting the virus. Prisoners are at particular risk because they are unable to take the same social distancing and hygiene measures as those outside of prison to protect themselves.
Across Iran, prisoners have pleaded with officials to address overcrowded, unhygienic and unsanitary conditions that put them at greater risk of COVID-19 infections, raising alarms about the authorities’ failure to sufficiently protect prison populations from the spread of the virus. Some prisoners have been denied adequate medical care, leaving them at greater risk from the virus if contracted.
Atena peacefully advocated for human rights in Iran knowing it put her at grave risk. She has faced unfounded accusations, threats, verbal and physical assaults for her insistence in standing up for justice and equality.
Atena has risked everything to build a more just and equal society. Amnesty International considers Atena to be a prisoner of conscience, and is calling for her immediately and unconditionally release.