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Children's rights defender Atena Daemi released from Iran's notorious Evin prison

This statement was originally published on on 17 February 2016.

Children's rights defender Atena Daemi was released from prison in Iran on 15 February in the midst of a 14-year sentence for her peaceful human rights activities. She paid a heavy bail of 700 million Tomans (approximately US$232,000), according to reports, which also stated that the 14-year sentence is still in effect.

On 20 November 2015, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) joined Front Line Defenders, the Campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran (CFPP) and other NGOs to call for the freedom of Daemi and another children's rights defender, Saeed Shirzad, who was sentenced to five years in prison last year.

According to the joint appeal, Daemi “set up training classes for street children and organised painting exhibitions to raise awareness about the issue of street children in Iran. She also participated in demonstrations in solidarity with children in Kobani and Gaza.”

Daemi was arrested at home on 21 October 2014 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and taken to the notorious Evin prison, where she was initially held in solitary confinement for three months.

On 14 May 2015, Daemi was sentenced to 14 years in prison during a 15-minute trial that observers say did not meet international standards. She received seven years for allegedly “gathering and colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the system.” Other charges included allegedly “concealing evidence” and “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Supreme Leader.”

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