November 20, 2019
Civil rights activist Sepideh Gholian was re-arrested during the night of Saturday, November 16 at her father’s house. The Campaign to Defend Haft-Tappeh Detainees announced news of her arrest – but the information was only reported a day later due to authorities blocking internet access inside Iran.
A video previously posted to social media showed Gholian participating in the nationwide protests against the recent tripling of gas prices. Gholian is seen in the video holding a piece of paper reading: “You increased gas prices by 300 percent, did you raise wages as well?”
A veterinary student at Dezful University, Gholian, 22, had previously been arrested during industrial action protests by workers of the Haft-Tappeh Sugar Cane Company, on January 20, 2019, and had been forced to make a televised confession. She had been released after paying a bail of 500 million tomans ($US120,000) after that first arrest.
Gholian was tried in August 2019 at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran; in September, a revolutionary court then sentenced Gholian to six years in prison. Gholian’s lawyers were in the process of appealing the sentence. Her family has also been subjected to repeated harassment and psychological pressure by authorities over the past year.
The court had sentenced Gholian to seven years’ imprisonment for “participation in meetings and colliding to act against national security,” a further seven years for being a member of the “Gam Group,” a pro-labor online publication, one and a half years for spreading “propaganda against the system” and a final two years for “spreading falsehoods.”