Freedom of Expression

Drop the Charges Against Atena Daemi

UPDATE: The charges and 7 year sentence against Atena have been upheld by the appeals court. We need your help demanding the charges against her be dropped. Please take action by sending a letter below.


Atena Daemi is an Iranian woman arrested in May 2015 and sentenced to 7 years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the state,” “acting against national security,” and “insulting the Supreme Leader” for having the protest songs of an Iranian-German rapper on her phone. She was released on bail on February 15, 2016. However, the charges against her remain in effect.

Daemi is a well-known children’s activist whose most prolific work has been in support of the children of the Syrian town of Kobanî (Ayn al-Arab) which lies along the Turkish border and has been devastated in the Syrian Civil War. Her other activist work has included demonstrations against the death penalty and Iran’s policy of forced hijab for all women.

The charges raised against Daemi cited her aforementioned activist work as evidence, as well as a number of Daemi’s posts to social media and the presence of the protest songs of Shahin Najaf on her phone. Najaf, who has fled Iran for asylum in Germany, is famous for music that details the struggles of Iranians. The most frequent topics addressed by Najaf’s lyrics are poverty and drug addiction.

An anonymous source has also stated that Daemi’s official court file alleges that the activist was present at protests which occurred while she was in pre-trial detention and could not possibly have attended.


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