Iran: Maryam Malek Transfered to Evin Prison / Parastoo Alahyaari Sentenced to One Year Mandatory Prison Sentence
Tuesday 28 April 2009
Women Living Under Muslim Laws:
Maryam Malek a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, was transferred to Evin Prison on April 26, 2009. (Change for Equality)
On the morning of April 26, 2009 Maryam Malek who was being detained at Vozara Detention center, was transferred to the Security Police Station, and after several hours of interrogation was transferred to Security Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Courts.
Mr. Heydari Fard, the investigative judge in charge of the case, by citing articles 499 and 500 of the Penal Code, charged Maryam with the spreading of “Propaganda Against the State” and a new charge of “membership in the One Million Signatures Campaign.” Maryam has denied the charges against her. A bail order in the amount of 20 Million Tomans was issued in this case. Maryam has explained to court officials that neither she nor her family has the ability to post this amount of bail. As a result, she was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison. Judge Heydari Fard has announced that the case is in the investigative stages and that interrogations of Maryam are ongoing.
Maryam Malek is a 26 year old college student and a member of the One Million Signature Campaign. She has written extensively about the difficulties women face in family court due to discriminatory laws. From a religious family herself, she has fought hard to obtain her rights as well. Her involvement in the Campaign stems from her personal experiences of being denied equal opportunities. This is the first time that a member of the Campaign has been officially charged with being involved in the Campaign. The charge infers that the Campaign is an illegal organization. Like Maryam, all members of the Campaign deny that their activities are illegal and strongly contend that they are acting within the law and their basic rights as citizens to have their voices and objections heard by other citizens and their representatives in Parliament.
Parastoo Alahyaari Sentenced to One Year Mandatory Prison Sentence
Parastoo Alahyaari, also a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, was sentenced to a year mandatory prison sentence on the charge of spreading propaganda against the state.
The ruling by the court, which Alahyaari reviewed at the Revolutionary Courts on the morning of April 25, 2009, reads: “given the totality of information in the case and our investigations and the report by officials, as well as the defense statement by the accused, her confession that she is a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, her confessions that she invited people to her home and convened numerous meetings for the purpose of moving forth the goals of the Campaign and its programs, and herself is engaged in signature collection toward the one million signatures the Campaign seeks to collect, with the excuse that the laws are discriminatory in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and her sending out information related to the Campaign to various sites whilst promoting the impression that the Islamic Republic is a system with legal discrimination, and also spreading of propaganda against the state for use by countries opposed to the Islamic Republic, and given the fact that the accused and other members [sent out this information] knowingly for misuse by foreign countries, the charge of actions against the state through the spread of propaganda against the holy Islamic Republic has been sufficiently proven. The courts, with reference to Amendment 550 of the Islamic Penal Code, sentence the accused to one year mandatory prison sentence.”
In the last court hearing in the case of Parastoo Alahyaari, which was held on the April 13, 2009 in the 28th Branch of the Revolutionary Courts, Judge Mogheisi did not allow Parastoo or her lawyer to present an oral defense in response to the charges against her, and only a written defense in relation to the case against Alahyaari which was prepared by her lawyer and submitted to the courts, was accepted by Judge Mogheisi.