Maryam Arvin was a humanitarian lawyer who died for the people she loved
Maryam Arvin, 29, was an attorney-at-law and a member of the Lawyers Association in Kerman Province. Dr. Maryam Arvin was an exceptional student at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, where she obtained her law degree at age 25 and completed her doctorate in law at 28.
Besides her legal pursuits, Maryam had a passion for poetry and writing, and she even published a treatise titled “The Rights of the Accused in Legal Proceedings with a Jurisprudential Approach.” Furthermore, she served as a university lecturer in Sirjan and ran her own law office.
Even before the 2022-2023 nationwide uprising, Maryam’s manuscripts revealed her unwavering concern for the rights of women who faced discrimination in the education system and society. Ms. Arvin voluntarily championed the cases of the underprivileged, advocating for welfare children and child laborers.
According to her relatives, after the 2022 uprising started, Maryam was deeply disturbed by the images and news of girls and boys being killed or detained daily, and she experienced physical discomfort in her stomach.
Dr. Arvin provided counseling and support to the families of protesters detained in Sirjan.
Reports on social networks claim that Maryam Arvin engaged in a heated argument with the judge of the Revolutionary Court while defending a 15-year-old orphan boy who lacked the financial means to hire a lawyer. In response to the judge’s verdict, she asserted that the boy should have been sent to a correctional center rather than prison.
Following this incident, the Intelligence Police Department contacted her and summoned her to answer some questions. Upon arriving at the Intelligence Police Department, Maryam Arvin discovered that they had filed a case against her, accusing her of inciting protests and participating in them. When she requested evidence to support these allegations, she was informed that she would need to appear in court the following day.
On the morning of Saturday, November 26, 2022, Maryam Arvin and her mother visited the Sirjan courthouse. Upon arrival, they encountered an officer named Zahra Alizadeh, who subjected Maryam to violent and insulting treatment by handcuffing her. When her mother protested, she was handcuffed, and both were arrested.
Dr. Maryam Arvin and her mother were released on bail on December 13, 2022. However, on February 7, 2023, the Kerman Lawyers Association made a solemn announcement regarding Maryam Arvin’s passing, which occurred two months after her release from prison. The cause of her death was not specified in the statement.
Subsequently, on Friday, February 10, 2023, four days after her untimely demise, Dr. Maryam Arvin was laid to rest in Sirjan, Kerman province, located in southern Iran.
On that same day, the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office of Sirjan issued a statement claiming that Dr. Maryam Arvin had taken her own life through suicide, using medication.
Tayyebeh Nazari, the mother of the late activist lawyer Maryam Arvin, revealed that her daughter’s death resulted from a drug injection while in prison.
On May 29, 2023, Tayyebeh Nazari took to her Instagram account to express that her daughter, Maryam Arvin, who was arrested for defending her clients, met her demise due to drugs injected into her in prison, supposedly done under the pretext of administering tranquilizers and sedatives.
Tayyebeh Nazari, who works as a literature teacher in high schools in Sirjan, further disclosed that the prison doctor confirmed the injuries Ms. Arvin sustained while in prison in a letter.
Moreover, Tayyebeh Nazari shed light on the violence during her daughter’s arrest, stating that a female officer known as “Mobina,” along with an intelligence officer from the State Security Force named Hamid Zeydabadi, were involved. They allegedly handcuffed Maryam Arvin in the courthouse corridor, forcibly removed her veil, and dragged her to the ground.
Additionally, Tayyebeh Nazari emphasized that a week after her daughter’s passing, Branch 103 of the Criminal Court handed down a 15-month prison sentence, a one million Toman fine, and 40 lashes for Ms. Arvin, all of which were given in absentia but later suspended.
Maryam Arvin is not the first case of a detainee who died after being released from prison.
The cases of Maryam Arvin, Yalda Aghafazli, Arshia Imamgholi, and Mohsen Jafari-Rad are deeply troubling, as they represent a concerning pattern of detainees dying after being released from prison, including instances of suicide. The circumstances surrounding their deaths raise questions and uncertainties about the treatment they may have experienced while in detention or after their release.