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Shiva Nazar Ahari, Iranian human rights defender, released from prison

Source: The Committee for Defense of Political Prisoners in Iran

Shiva Nazar Ahari

Shiva Nazar Ahari, a 26-year-old notable Iranian human rights defender, has been released on a bail of around $500,000 after an ongoing international campaign to bring attention to her case!  Nazar Ahari, former speaker of the student committee for the defense of political prisoners in Iran and current speaker of  the committee for human rights reporters in Iran, had been last arrested on December 2009 on her way to the city of Qom. 

Who is Shiva Nazar Ahari?

Shiva Nazar Ahari is a 26-year-old human rights activist specializing in child labor and the defense of political prisoners, and a former editor and current spokesperson for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. She is also a journalist, blogger, and member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and Tara Women's Association. Formerly a civil engineering graduate student, Ahari was expelled from university as a result of her student activism. 

Ahari became involved in human rights defense in 2002 when she joined the Student Committee for Defense of Political Prisoners. In July 2004, while she was chairing this committee and at the height of youth, Shiva was arrested in front of the United Nations building in Tehran during a protest by families of political prisoners. 

She was arrested again during the wave of protests that followed Iran's disputed tenth presidential elections. Intelligence agents arrested Ahari at her workplace on June 14, 2009.  

Shiva's defense attorney, Shadi Sadr, was arrested a month later on July 17, while headed for Tehran University to attend the protests that day at Friday Prayers. Sadr was beaten by plainclothes agents, seized without an arrest warrant, and transferred to an unknown location. 

On July 28, in a call to her family from Evin prison, Shiva said she would be unable to contact them for some time. After spending 33 days in solitary confinement at Evin's Ward 209, she was transferred to a general ward on August 17. During this time, she was allowed to contact her family only a few times. In one conversation, Shiva mentioned that she had filed a request for visitation with her family; however, she has been granted no visitation rights to date.

On August 14, the Iran Women's Center wrote on their website that Shiva's family had not heard from her in 20 days and that security agents had informed them she was barred from visitation rights because of serious concern about her well-being.

On September 1, eighty days after her arrest, the Judiciary set Shiva Nazar Ahari's bail at $500,000, an exorbitant amount her family did not have the means to pay. Shiva's mother appealed to the Revolutionary Court to contest the heavy bail. She was told by Investigator Sobhani, the examining judge for Shiva's case: 'Then let her remain in prison.'

After repeated visits to this court by the Nazar Ahari family, on September 16, the Judiciary reduced Shiva's bail to $200,000.   After her family paid this amount, Shiva was released on temporary license (until her trial) from Evin prison at 9:00 pm on September 23. But this was not the end of the story. 

In the wake of the death of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, a number of people attending his funeral were arrested. These arrests, however, were made before the attendees had reached the dissident cleric's funeral, on the road to Qom.  Shiva Nazar Ahari was among those arrested. 

... Payvand News - 09/13/10 ... --

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