In a message from prison disseminated on May 3, 2020, political prisoner Fatemeh Sepehri called on the people of Iran to join and support political prisoners in their demand for justice.
Rejecting her charges, Ms. Sepehri emphasized, “In prisons and courts of the Islamic Republic, they have behaved worse than Stalin, and worse than any other regime the world has ever experienced, (what they have done) with the lives and properties of people. And they do not feel any shame. They understand neither humanity nor Islam.”
“As one of those who have imprisoned, as one of those who has been accused of charges which I have never done or committed… I am one of the complainants and I want to convey their voice to rest of the people and to the world that in prisons and courts of the Islamic Republic, they have behaved worse than Stalin, and worse than any other regime the world has ever experienced, (what they have done) with the lives and properties of people. And they do not feel any shame. They understand neither humanity nor Islam. I am very disturbed by this.
“Khamenei’s lackeys have also spread rumors that they want to free Fatemeh Sepehri because she is the widow of a martyr. I would never accept such a thing…
“I have been in jail for more than eight months. I was detained for 50 days in the Department of Intelligence and in solitary confinement. I have had quite a difficult time, but I am glad that I was able to convey my voice to the world and to the people of Iran and to the world.
“I urge all the people (of Iran) to support this call for justice by people like me, those who were before us and those are still in jail. Those who have lost their lives and their families were not allowed to mourn them in any ceremony or even see their bodies.
“I urge everyone to help, even if it is for themselves. Help to get rid of this situation. 41 years is enough for all the history of Iran and Iranians who want to live (in peace.)”
Political prisoner Fatemeh Sepehri was arrested on August 11, 2019 on the sideline of the trial of a university professor in Mashhad by the Appeals Court. Fifteen activists including five women were arrested in this incident for signing a letter to the mullahs’ leader, Ali Khamenei, and demanding his resignation.
The state-run Fars news agency confirmed the news of their arrests on August 11, 2019 and wrote they were charged with “undermining the country’s security” and “having ties with insurgent groups.”
Fatemeh Sepehri was taken from Vakilabad Prison to the Department of Intelligence of Mashhad on August 14 and held there for 50 days. Then, on September 29, 2019, she was transferred to the women’s ward of Vakilabad Prison where she was denied visits and phone calls for another 12 days.
On March 29, 2020, the 35th Branch of the Appeals Court of Khorasan Razavi Province ruled to imprison Fatemeh Sepehri, freedom-loving teacher Hashem Khastar, Mohammad Nourizad and Mohammad Hossein Sepehri for a total of 40 years and 6 months. Their charges included “membership in opposition groups to disrupt the national security” and “propaganda activities against the state.”
The women’s ward of Vakilabad Prison is reportedly infected with the coronavirus, but inmates do not have any sanitary products or any masks and gloves to protect themselves. The dense population in every ward help accelerate the transmission and spread of the virus.