Saba Kordafshari, aged 20, is one of the women warriors against compulsory hijab. She was arrested on 1 June and has been kept in prison, including 11 days in solitary confinement and many days of interrogations.
During her time in confinement, Saba has endured harsh treatments, physical threats and was put under severe pressure to make false confessions before a camera and denounce her views against compulsory hijab. She was especially pressed to denounce the White Wednesdays campaign on camera. The security service agents promised her she would be released if she “confessed.” Otherwise, they threatened to arrest her mother Raheleh Ahmadi if she did not “co-operate”.
Saba refused to give false confession. On 10 July, the authorities carried out their threat and arrested her mother, Ms. Ahmadi.
Saba was arrested by security forces at her home in Tehran on June 11 and her house was searched by security forces and some of her belongings such as her cell phone and her laptop were confiscated. She appeared in the Branch 21 Revolutionary Court in Tehran where she was charged with “collusion against national security through collaborating with foreign media”, “propaganda against the state”, “encouraging corruption and prostitution through appearing without a headscarf in public”.
On 2 July, the authorities transferred Saba to another location but concealed her transfer and her whereabouts from her family for 12 days, in essence “disappearing” her during that period to put extra pressure on the family. Saba later told her family that she was held in the special 2-A section of the notorious Evin prison, which is under the supervision of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards. Once again, she was put under renewed pressure to give false “confessions.”
Saba and another activist Yasaman Aryani were both arrested in August 2018 during protests across several Iranian cities for several days against the country’s faltering economy, skyrocketing inflation, hardship and hiking prices.
Amnesty International and other human rights groups have called for Saba’s release.