PLEASE JOIN US …
SUNDAY, AUGUST 6TH at 1PM: Artists & Human Rights Leaders Unveil Mural in SF Honoring Seven Female Political Prisoners in Iran
Month-Long Campaign Recognizes Persecution of Iranians Fighting for Civil Liberties, Social Justice and Environmental Rights
On Sunday, October 6 at 1:00 PM, local artists, and activists, in partnership with Iranian human rights leaders, will unveil a new mural between 17th & 18th and Mission & Valencia Streets, featuring seven women who are currently in prison in Iran.
WHEN: Sunday, October 6th, 2019, 1:00 – 3:00pm (PST)
WHERE: Between 17th & 18th and Mission & Valencia Streets, San Francisco, CA
WHO: Megan Wilson, CAMP co-director & Board President; Shaghayegh Cyrous, artist, curator and CAMP Director of Programming; Firuzeh Mahmoudi, Executive Director of United for Iran; and other distinguished guests.
EVENT LINK: https://www.facebook.com/events/427532667968891/
Each of the seven women in the mural is a strong advocate of various civil rights movements. It includes portraits of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist sentenced to 33 years in 2018 for exercising her freedom of choice; Athena Daemi, known for her child rights activism, and sentenced to seven years in 2014; Niloufar Bayani, an environmental activist arrested in 2018 with 55 others by Iranian security forces; Sepideh Gholian, a social and civil activist arrested and sexually assaulted in 2018 during a protest with labor activists; Zeinab Jalalian, an activist, was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to death, but then reduced to life in prison; Shokufe Yadollahi, one of the Gonabadi Dervishes, was arrested in 2018 along with hundreds of Dervishes, including her three children; and Azita Rafizadeh, a professor at the Baha’i University of Iran (BIHE) was arrested with her husband for teaching Baha’i students who were unable to study at Iranian universities.
Please see below for a more in-depth description of each of the women featured in the mural.
In Honor of Iran’s Prisoners of Conscience
October 1st – 31st, 2019
Clarion Alley Mural Project & Artists Television Access (ATA)
Opening Reception October 6th, 2019
Project Description: In Honor of Iran’s Prisoners of Conscience is a multi-faceted project of art, literature and performances, in remembrance of hundreds of men and women who have been taken as prisoners of conscience in Iran in recent years. They have fought for social justice, civil liberties, and worker and environmental rights. Today, they are behind bars for wanting to speak freely, practice their faith peacefully, join a union, receive fair wages, or protect the environment. The Iranian regime, however, has continued to deny them this voice and freedom.
Unveiling Event: Sunday, October 6th, 2019, 1 – 3 pm
Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) Between 17th & 18th and Mission & Valencia Streets in San Francisco
Celebrating In Honor of …, a new mural that features seven women who are currently in prison in Iran. They are all strong advocates of various civil rights movements, including freedom of religion, workers’ rights, women’s rights, environmental rights, etc. The program includes:
● Introduction of Clarion Alley by Megan Wilson, CAMP co-director & Board President;
● Introduction of In Honor Of … by Shaghayegh Cyrous, project director and artist;
● Introduction of Iran Prison Atlas by Firoozeh Mahmoudi, Executive Director of United 4 Iran;
● Presentation by Sahar Delijani, author of Children of the Jacaranda Tree;
● Introduction of Diaspora Art Connection (DAC) and Musicians by Nazy Kaviani, founder and Executive Director of DAC;
● Music by Adrienne Shamszad and PENTA Group;
● Performance by Baharak and Behnaz Khaleghi;
● Augmented Reality by Snuggle for Survival; and
Every Wednesday in the month of October there will be a performance by Mehregan Pezeshki in front of the mural.
Sponsors of CAMP’s In Honor Of … mural project:
United 4 Iran
In Honor of …
October 1 – 31
Artists Television Access (ATA)
992 Valencia Street, San Francisco
The window of ATA will be activated weekly by artists, writers, and activists with installations and performances telling the stories of their or their loved ones’ imprisonment.
The program includes:
First Week, (October 1-7)
● Mehregan Pezeshki
Second Week: (October 8-15)
● Naz Khoram
Third Week: (October 16-22)
● Snuggle for Survival
Fourth Week: (October 23-31)
● S.A., Shaghayegh Cyrous, Sahar Delijani
October 6: Opening Reception, Performance by S.A. 6:00 pm
October 11: Film Screening by PanteA Bahrami, 7:00 pm
October 20: Video by Vahid Zamani, performances, 7:00 pm
October 30: Book reading: CHILDREN OF THE JACARANDA TREE by Sahar Delijani in conversation with Megan Wilson, 7:00 pm
Sponsors of the ATA In Honor Of … Installations:
Clarion Alley Mural Project’s (clarionalleymuralproject.org) mission is to support and produce socially engaged and aesthetically innovative public art, locally and globally, as a grassroots community-based organization in San Francisco’s Mission District Throughout its history, CAMP has used public art as a force for those who are marginalized and a place where culture and dignity speak louder than the rules of private property or a lifestyle that puts profit before compassion, respect, and social justice. Artists’ Television Access (atasite.org) is a San Francisco-based, artist-run, non-profit organization that cultivates and promotes culturally-aware, underground media, and experimental art. We provide an accessible screening venue and gallery for the presentation of programmed and guest-curated screenings, exhibitions, performances, workshops, and events. We believe in fostering a supportive community for the exhibition of innovative art and the exchange of non-conformist ideas.
Artists’ Television Access (atasite.org) is a San Francisco-based, artist-run, non-profit organization that cultivates and promotes culturally-aware, underground media, and experimental art. We provide an accessible screening venue and gallery for the presentation of programmed and guest-curated screenings, exhibitions, performances, workshops, and events. We believe in fostering a supportive community for the exhibition of innovative art and the exchange of non-conformist ideas.
Brief description of the situation of the seven female prisoners
Nasrin Sotoudeh is a well known Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, and a member of the Center for Human Rights Defenders. Nasrin, and other prisoners including Narges Mohammadi, Abdolfattah Soltani, and Mohammad Seifzadeh, has been subjected to illegal and cruel treatment while being imprisoned. Mrs. Sotoudeh was previously arrested in September 2010 and released after more than 3 years in prison. After her release, she held a long protest in front of the Iranian Bar Association to reinstate her lawyer’s license. Nasrin has represented a variety of human rights defenders in Iran, including several women who protested against the compulsory wearing of the Hijab–a movement known as the “Revolutionary Street Girls” movement.
Due to this and other activities, Nasrin was arrested again in 2018 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. In a letter, Mrs. Sotoudeh recently wrote: “The Iranian women’s struggle to exercise their freedom and freedom of choice is commendable. I admire the peaceful method they have chosen, in spite of collectively being sentenced to several hundred years in prison.”
Athena Daemi is widely known for her activism for the rights of children. She was arrested in October 2014 for her activities and sentenced to 5 years in prison. She is currently being held in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. While serving her sentence, she was put on trial for another charge and was sentenced for an additional 25 months in prison. This additional sentence was carried out without access to an appeals court. In a letter from prison, Athena wrote: “I am against execution. I was sentenced to prison because of this stance, and I have received another sentence because of my continued opposition to executions and I am proud of it.”
Niloufar Bayani is an Iranian environmental activist. She and a number of her colleagues, including Homan Jokar, Amir Hossein Khaleghi, Sam Rajabi, Taher Ghadirian, Morad Tahbaz, and Sepideh Kashani, have been imprisoned since 2018, when a crackdown by Iranian security forces resulted in approximately 55 environmental activists being detained. One of those arrested was Kavous Seyed-Emami, a university professor, who died “suspiciously” in prison just two weeks after his arrest. The Iranian judiciary has declared his death a suicide, but the claim has not been accepted by Mr. Emami’s family or the international community. In court about a year after her arrest, Niloufar Bayani revealed that she had been repeatedly beaten and threatened by officers. She said: “If you were threatened like me, you would confess! They kept me in solitary confinement for a few months, shouting at me and forcing confessions. They told me that they would execute me. “
Sepideh Gholian, a social and civil activist, was arrested in 2018 during a protest along with Haft Tapeh workers and labor activists, including Ismail Bakhshi. She was severely beaten and sexually assaulted during this time. After being released from prison, Mrs. Gholian and Mr. Bakhshi disclosed Mrs. Gholian’s torture during her detention, but intelligence agencies and the Iranian government threatened to sue them if they continued discussing her treatment. Following this, Sepideh Gholian and Ismail Bakhshi were again arrested, and Sepideh has been sentenced to 7 years in prison. Mrs. Gholian recently wrote from prison that: “The nightmare of the voice of torture is not going away from my ears, and I am waiting for another conspiracy against me from IRIB and its affiliated news agencies.”
Zeinab Jalalian was arrested in 2008. She was initially sentenced to death in a lower court, but a few years later her lawyers were told that her death sentence had been reduced to life in prison. Mrs. Jalalian has been serving nearly 12 years in prison without a day off. According to human rights organizations, she was sentenced in an unfair trial and was repeatedly tortured after being arrested and prosecuted. Interrogators reportedly hit her head on the wall, slammed her feet, questioned her while she was blindfolded and while her arms and legs were chained together, and threatened to rape her as part of the torture. Mrs. Jalalian has an eye disease, and due to lack of attention, she has lost the ability to see long distances in each of her eyes. In 2016, the UN Arbitrary Detention Task Force called on the Islamic Republic of Iran to “immediately” release political activist Zainab Jalalian–the only female political prisoner sentenced to life in prison.
Shokufe Yadollahi, one of the Gonabadi Dervishes, was arrested in 2018 along with hundreds of other Dervishes, including her 3 children (Kasra Nouri, Pouria Nouri, and Amir Nouri). At that time, they had gathered outside of the Gonabadi Dervishes’ Pole House in Tehran, where they were attacked by security forces. During her detention, Mrs. Yadollahi sustained a fracture of the head as a result of beatings and completely lost her sense of smell. Shokufe Yadollahi was later sentenced to 2 years in prison. She is serving her sentence in the Gharachak prison in Varamin, which is known for its inhumane conditions. The prison was once a poultry farm, and today hundreds of women convicted of violent crimes are held there in deplorable conditions that are far below minimum standards.
Azita Rafizadeh was a professor at the Baha’i University of Iran (BIHE). She, along with her husband, Peyman Koushkbaghi, taught Baha’i students who were not allowed to study at Iranian universities. In 2011, Iranian security forces arrested several Baha’i University teachers. Rafizadeh’s home was also raided and a lawsuit was filed. Mrs. Rafizadeh was ultimately sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment in the Primary Court on charges of membership in Baha’i illegal organizations, and the sentence was upheld in the appeals court. Her husband was sentenced to 5 years in prison on the same charge. Mrs. Rafizadeh and her husband have been held in Evin Prison since 2015. The care of their young child, who was 6 at the time, has been transferred to another family. Since then, their child has only seen his parents one hour a week in the meeting room of Evin Prison. In one of her letters from prison, Azita Rafizadeh wrote to her son: “I am glad that these days of distance could not diminish our love and our small family still yearns to be together.”