by Poorang Novak
During the anti-government protests in late December and and January, the Iranian dissident activist Maryam Faraji, 33, was very involved.
Today, it seems that she has disappeared. After she left her home near Tehran eight days ago, on Thursday, July 5th, there has been no news of her whereabouts. The news of disappearance was disseminated on Sunday, July 8, 2018.
Mohamad Aghasi, Faraji’s lawyer says murder cannot be ruled out, in a series of tweets, on July 12th, he suggested that his client may have been murdered.
On social media, allegations began immediately. Security forces are being accused of having abducted and killed her.
Her lawyer later tweeted that while he is in no way accusing the Islamic Republic’s security forces, he is saying that her murder cannot be ruled out.
But, what is unclear, is why Mr. Aghasi has suggested that Faraji may have been killed, or why he believes that security forces were not involved. However, it has been reported that Aghasi had a rough time getting listed as an “approved lawyer” to represent a political case by Iran’s judiciary, so it’s reasonable to suspect that he must chose his words carefully.
Due to a recent regulation, each and every lawyer is not allowed to represent political cases. The judiciary has issued a list of attorneys who are allowed to take up cases of people accused of anti-government activities. The judiciary, like all else in Iran, is accountable only to the Supreme Leader
A graduate student of Management, and a financial officer of a private company, Maryam Faraji was arrested early this year, on January 2, 2018, during the widespread protests that spread across Iran. She was detained for ten days under interrogation in the Intelligence Ministry Ward 209 in Evin Prison.
The initial trial of student activist Maryam Faraji was held on April 8, 2018, at the 28th Branch of the Revolutionary Court presided by Ahmadzadeh. The court sentenced her to three years in prison and banned her from leaving the country for two years. She was free on bail when she disappeared.
According to Aghasi, his client’s mobile phone is turned off, and her family’s attempts to find find her through the official organs have failed.
Iranian officials have confirmed that at least 3,700 people were arrested and 22 people were killed in the turn of the year protests.