On Sunday, May 21, 2023, Vida Rabbani, a journalist, was transferred from Evin prison to Tehran’s Taleghani hospital for much-needed medical treatment.
Vida Rabbani had been grappling with severe headaches for the past two months, prompting the need for an MRI test. Despite her deteriorating physical condition and the prison hospital’s recommendation for a CT scan and specialized examination, the relevant authorities staunchly opposed her transfer to an external medical facility.
Born in 1989 and residing in Tehran, Vida Rabbani is a married individual with a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Vida Rabbani is an active member of the Journalists’ Association. Unfortunately, Vida’s health had fallen due to the relentless headaches. The prison hospital acknowledged her condition’s seriousness and advised comprehensive medical procedures. Still, the authorities were unsympathetic and unyielding, refusing to allow her to seek treatment outside the confines of the prison.
Vida Rabbani arrested for involvement in Iran protests 2022
Mrs. Rabbani’s most recent legal case stemmed from her involvement in nationwide protests, and was expected to receive amnesty. Regrettably, the implementation of amnesty has been stalled due to the opposition of her case officer.
During the nationwide protests that gripped Tehran, Vida Rabbani was apprehended by security forces on September 24, 2022. Subsequently, in January 2023, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced her to six years in prison for “assembly and collusion against national security” and an additional 15 months for “propaganda against the state.” Suppose the verdict is upheld during the appeal stage. In that case, the stringent punishment of six years behind bars will be enforced under Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code.
On January 15, 2020, Vida Rabbani, along with a member of the Iranian People’s Unity Party, was arrested by security forces for encouraging people to join a protest against the shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner by the IRGC Air Defense. Her sympathy for the bereaved families of the victims led to her detainment. However, she was released on the same day.
Unfortunately, Vida’s freedom was short-lived as she was re-arrested by security forces on November 22, 2020. She was then taken to Ward 209 of Evin Prison, the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center. Eventually, on December 20, 2020, she was granted temporary release on bail, pending the conclusion of her legal proceedings.
In March 2022, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran handed a severe sentence to Vida Rabbani, condemning her to ten years of imprisonment and social exclusion. Her alleged crime was inciting protests against the IRGC’s downing of the Ukrainian airliner and expressing solidarity with the victims’ families. However, the journey through the legal system did not end there.
Finally, in mid-August 2022, Branch 36 of Tehran Province’s Court of Appeals delivered its verdict. Vida Rabbani was sentenced to five years in prison for the charge of “blasphemy,” four years for “assembly and collusion to act against national security,” eight months for “propaganda against the state,” and an additional eight months for “disrupting public order.” Moreover, she was stripped of her ability to engage in professional activities on social networks, attend gatherings, or participate in any form of political activism for five years.
The story of Vida Rabbani paints a harrowing picture of a journalist battling physical ailments within the confines of a prison. At the same time, her legal plight and the oppressive weight of her sentences cast a shadow on her aspirations for a better future.