Increased Concern on the Implementation of 3 Year Prison Sentence for Mahbobeh Karami

Sunday 15 May 2011

Change for Equality: Mahbobeh Karami, women’s rights and Campaign activist, will be introducing herself to the courts today, for the implementation of her 3 year mandatory prison sentence. She will be introducing herself to the security court at Evin prison to start serving her prison sentence, despite suffering from severe depression and a heart condition. There is serious concern that her emotional and physical ailments will only become more severe in prison.

Several days ago, Mahbobeh Karami received a summons from the office of implementation of sentences, to appear at Evin prison court and to begin serving her three year prison sentence. The summons required that she introduce herself in 3 working days.

Mahbobeh was initially sentenced to serve four years in prison by the 54th Branch of the Revolutionary Courts, presided by Judge PirAbassi, on the charges of “membership in the Human Rights Activists Organization,” “spreading of propaganda,” “gathering and collusion with the intent to commit crimes against national security” and “publication of lies.” The appeals court acquitted her on the charge of publication of lies, but upheld 3 years of the initial sentence.

Given recent reports about the transfer of female political prisoners to the Gharcahk Varamin prison where conditions for prisoners are extremely poor and inhumane, concern exists around her possible transfer to this prison as well. According to reports, Gharchak Varamin prison was formerly a chicken factory, where living conditions are extremely poor and the possibility of illness very high. These conditions given Mahbobeh’s ill health have caused further alarm that her physical and emotional state may deteriorate further.

Mahbobeh Karami is an activist in the One Million Signatures Campaign. She was arrested on March 2, 2010 after security officers stormed her home and searched and seized property. The court order to search her property had been issued 6 days prior and in relation to her alleged participation in protests following the disputed results of the presidential elections. According to Mohsen Karami, Mahboubeh’s brother, Mahboubeh had not participated in any protests, as she was the sole caretaker of her ill father. Karami was released after spending 170 days in temporary detention on August 18, 2010 on a bail order in the amount of 500 Million Tomans (roughly $500,000).

Prior to this arrest, Mahboubeh had been arrested on five other occasions. She had been acquitted in relation to charges brought against her in all five cases.


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