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Silencing the Women's Rights Movement in Iran

her head, she would be shocked by an electric device they had positioned above her head.143 At Evin, they brought Sadr to the political prisoner ward - Ward 209 - and placed her in solitary confinement. Guards took her prescription eyeglasses. As Sadr could not see anything without them, even simple tasks like eating or going to the bathroom (when allowed) became difficult. In protest, Sadr refused to eat until her glasses were returned.144

The authorities did not give Sadr a reason for her arrest or formally charge her until the second or third day she was at Evin-and after she had been repeatedly interrogated. A judge told her that she was charged with endangering national security through causing riots (iqtishash). Sadr offered a defense:

I told him, well if you had actually let me go [to Friday prayer] then I would have rioted and then you could charge me with something real. And they said, well you were planning to riot and that was enough for us. This is how I knew they were planning my arrest for a while-it was not a random, spur of the moment thing.145

The judge disagreed and said that Sadr was involved in planning a mutiny to occur at Rafsanjani's Friday Prayer sermon. He said that had Sadr not left the house that day, they would not have needed to arrest her, but since she did, they had no choice but to arrest her or otherwise risk an overthrow of the Supreme Leader.146

After a few days, during which she was held in unsanitary conditions and continuously interrogated, the authorities told her that she would be released on a 5 million tomans (roughly USD $5,000) financial guarantee. Sadr paid the amount but her release was rescinded at the last minute because her interrogators accused her of giving them false username and password information for one of her email accounts. Sadr recalls:

I thought I was being released, I was so joyful. [My captors] took me and a woman who had been arrested with me to a small room downstairs … I think we were down there for two or three hours. Someone came and opened the door and said please come-to the old woman to release her. A half hour later, they came for me, and said please follow me. But instead of releasing me, they took me back upstairs. I asked what was going on. They told me your interrogation is not done yet. For five minutes I was just stunned and I let them drag me back to my cell. Then - after the five minutes had passed - I got mad, really mad. The rule of Ward 209 is that prisoners are not supposed to make noise but I disregarded this and started screaming. I was punching the walls and cursing. When the warden told me to stop, I said do whatever you want! I don't care. Everyone else in the ward looked shocked that I had been brought back because this does not normally happen. I felt this was meant to be a form of psychological torture.147

Sadr was finally released in the early morning of Wednesday, July 29, 2009. A few days later, a friend called and told her that Kayhan newspaper was reporting on the indictment that prominently alleged Sadr was a

[143] Id.
[144] Id.
[145] Id.
[146] Id.
[147] Id.

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Tagged as:

Sexual Violence, Gender Rights, Death Penalty, Political Killings, Executions, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Personal Liberty, Arbitrary Detention, Travel Restrictions, Due Process, Right to an Attorney, Illegal Search and Seizure, Free Speech, Right to Protest, Protests, Free Association, Child Rights, Political Freedom, Equality Before the Law, Discrimination