Nika Shakarami, killed on September 20, 2022 by Iranian security forces during “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests


Political prisoner Shirin Saeedi has been sentenced to five years in prison by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Saeedi was arrested last December 23 and taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison. She was convicted of “assembly and collusion to act against national security”.

Mahmud Mehrabi, arrested in February 2023, has been sentenced to death by a court in Isfahan in central Iran.

Mehrabi was detained over posts on social media critical of the Iranian regime. He was convicted of “corruption on Earth”.

Mehrabi’s lawyer Babak Farsani indicated that he will appeal “serious problems” with the verdict.


Journalist and activist Dina Ghalibaf has been released on bail after almost two weeks of detention.

Ghalibaf was detained on April 16. A day earlier, she posted on social media about sexual assault and electric shocks by Iran’s morality police when they seized her at a Tehran metro station over “improper hijab”.

See also Iran Updates: Sexually Assaulted in Detention, Journalist Ghalibaf is Re-Arrested


The Center for Human Rights in Iran has called for the release from prison of cartoonist and civil rights activist Atena Farghadani, claiming she has been tortured.

Farghadani was seized on April 13 by Revolutionary Guards intelligence operatives. She was trying to display one of her cartoons outside the Supreme Leader’s compound in Tehran.

“After being transported to a safe house, she endured brutal torture, resulting in loss of consciousness from heavy bleeding and head injuries,” said human rights lawyer Mohammad Moghimi. “Several hours later, she regained consciousness in the prayer room of the security police.”

The lawyer said Farghadani was initially transferred to Qarchak Prison, south of Tehran, but “officials there refused to accept her due to signs of torture on her face and body”. She was then taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison.

The activist faces charges of “insulting the sacred”, “propaganda against the state,” and “disrupting public order,” with up to seven years in prison if she is convicted.

CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi explains:

Farghadani is an artist, an activist, and a woman, all of which make Islamic Republic officials tremble.

She had a target on her back for resolutely standing up to the Islamic Republic’s repression. The international community should demand her immediate release.

Her commitment to freedom and justice is unwavering and calls for her freedom by fellow cartoonists and artists should be amplified by all defenders of human rights.


Islamic scholar and rights activist Sedigheh Vasmaghi has been bailed from prison amid concerns over her deteriorating health.

Vasmaghi, moved to hospital from Tehran’s Evin Prison last month, was released on Monday.

A critic of compulsory hijab, Vasmaghi posted a video on social media in November where her head was uncovered. She was seized at her home on March 16, charged with “propaganda against the system in cyberspace” and “public appearances without Shari’a-compliant hijab”.

Authorities refused several times to accept the urgent requests of doctors that Vasmaghi be moved to hospital, but relented as she went blind.

In a letter to a UN fact-finding committee, the scholar described her wrongful arrest and the brutal treatment and torture at the hands of regime officials. Despite her blindness, she was repeatedly taken for interrogation without legal representation.

See also Iran Updates: 11 Women’s Rights Activists Given 1 to 6+ Years in Prison

ORIGINAL ENTRY, APRIL 30: A leaked document from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirms that 16-year-old Nika Shakarami (pictured), a participant in the “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests, was sexually assaulted and killed by three members of Iranian security forces.

Shakarami, 16, disappeared from a demonstration on September 20, 2022, four days after the protests began over the death of Mahsa Amini — detained and reportedly beaten by “morality police” over “inappropriate attire” — in police custody. Her family found her body in a mortuary nine days later.

The Iranian regime denied any connection between Shahkarami, the mass demonstration, and security forces — even though video showed her in the gathering near Laleh Park in central Tehran, standing on a dumpster setting fire to hijabs as others chants “Death to the Dictator” about the Supreme Leader. Authorities claimed she killed herself by jumping off a roof, but wounds on her body indicated she had been assaulted.

Confirmation of A Killing

Claims about a leaked report first circulated in February. The BBC checked details with multiple sources to corroborate the statements in the document.

The “Highly Confidential” memorandum summarizes a hearing of the Revolutionary Guards on the case. It includes the names of the killers, from the paramilitary group Iranian Hezbollah, and the senior Guards commanders who covered up the murder.

Hezbollah’s Team 12 was one of several undercover security units monitoring the demonstration in Laleh Park. It suspected Shahkarami “of leadership, due to her unconventional behavior and repeated calls with her mobile phone”.

One of the team, posing as a protester, went into the crowd to confirm the teen’s role and called in colleagues to arrest her. She fled, calling a friend to say she was being chased by security forces.

Almost an hour later, she was detained and put in Team 12’s unmarked freezer van. It went to a temporary police camp but was turned away from the overcrowded facility. The commander of a detention center refused to admit Shakarami because she “was constantly swearing and chanting”.

As the van headed for Tehran’s Evin Prison, one member of the security forces sexually assaulted Shakarami as he sat on her. Despite being handcuffed and restrained, she fought back, kicking and swearing. That provoked the officers to beat her with batons.

The team leader, Morteza Jalil, hearing the commotion in the rear of the van, ordered the driver to pull over. He opened the rear door and saw Shakarami’s lifeless body. He cleaned the blood from her face and head, “which were not in a good condition”.

The report confirms that “three batons and three Tasers were all used” in the beating of Shakarami: “It is not clear which one of the blows was the fatal one.”

Jalil said he did not attempt to find out what had happened: “I was only thinking about how to transfer her and didn’t ask any questions of anyone. I only asked: ‘Is she breathing?’.”

Jalil spoke by phone with a senior Guards officer, Capt. Mohammad Zamani, who told him to “dump her on the street”. Shakarami’s body was left in a quiet street under Tehran’s Yadegar-e-Emam highway.

There is no record that any action was taken against the killers, with the report summarizing, “Since the above persons belonged to the forces of Hezbollah, following up this case beyond obtaining the necessary commitments and security guarantees has not been possible.”

The Guards’ Capt. Zamani was given a written reprimand.