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Appeals Court Strikes Down Additional Charges by IRGC Against Imprisoned Iranian Rights Activist Atena Daemi

CHRI - Imprisoned children's rights activist Atena Daemi has ended her hunger strike after she and her sisters were acquitted of additional charges brought by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that resulted in additional time added onto her seven-year prison sentence.

Imprisoned children's rights activist Atena Daemi
"When the verdict was issued (on May 31, 2017), Atena broke her hunger strike," her mother, Masoumeh Nemati, told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). "The verdict says the decision is 'final.'"

The final ruling by Branch 48 of the Appeals Court, a copy of which was obtained by CHRI, states the reasons for the acquittal were "good manners in court," "having polite and respectable parents, which shows their religious upbringing" and "explanations by their respectable and experienced lawyer (Mahmoud Behzadi)." Therefore, said the statement, "insulting agents would be unbecoming of their character."

Daemi, 29, began refusing food on April 8 to protest a preliminary court's ruling against her and her two sisters, Onsieh and Hanieh, for allegedly "insulting" IRGC agents and resisting arrest.

In April 2017, Branch 1163 of the Quds Criminal Court added 91 days to Daemi's seven-year prison sentence and issued suspended 91-day prison sentences to her sisters.

Atena Daemi was arrested on October 21, 2014 by the IRGC's Intelligence Organization and sentenced to seven years in prison for meeting the families of political prisoners, criticizing the Islamic Republic of Iran on Facebook, and condemning the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988.

She began serving her sentence on November 26, 2016 after IRGC agents arrived at her home without displaying a warrant and violently transported her to Tehran's Evin Prison.

She immediately filed a formal complaint against the agents for using excessive force.

Instead of investigating the complaint, the judiciary prosecuted Daemi and her sisters for the retaliatory charges brought by the IRGC, which were ultimately struck down.