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Source: IranWire

May 5, 2023

Iranian Activist Gholian Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for “Insulting” Khamenei

The Iranian judiciary has sentenced well-known civil rights activist Sepideh Gholian to two years in prison for "insulting" the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader.   

"We received the news yesterday that Sepideh has been sentenced to another two years in prison, which effectively means starting over what we thought had just ended," her brother Mehdi wrote on Instagram on May 5.  

"Sepideh has been in and out of incarceration and exile since the fall of 2018," he added. 

Gholian was re-arrested in March, hours after she posted on Twitter a video of herself without the mandatory hijab shouting slogans against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei upon her release from Tehran’s Evin prison.

Gholian was initially detained during a workers’ strike in November 2018 and later sentenced to 19 years and six months in prison. The sentence was reduced to five years on appeal. 

The activist was released on March 15 after being granted “amnesty.” 

“Khamenei the Zahhak! We'll take you down into the grave," she shouted outside Evin prison, referring to a mythical king said to have fed serpents growing out of his shoulders with young people’s brains. 

As the video showing Gholian’s act of defiance was spreading on social media, police stopped the car carrying Gholian and her family and detained the activist. 

After being held for several hours in Arak, south-west of Tehran, she was transferred to Ward 209 of Evin prison on the same day.

The judiciary announced in April it had charged Gholian with “insult” and that the indictment was sent to the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on March 19.

The activist was subjected to physical abuse and threatened with rape while in custody, a relative has told IranWire.

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