Held at the women’s ward in Evin Prison, in late September Akbari Monfared was transferred to Ward 209 to be interrogated. Ward 209 is controlled by the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence, who attempted to inspect her before she entered the ward. Akbari Monfared wouldn’t accept this humiliation, and said, “I’ve not left the prison; you yourselves want to transfer me to another ward, then why should I be inspected?” This led to a dispute between Akbari Monfared and prison officials as she continued to refuse to allow them to inspect her.
Upon her arrival, the interrogator asked Akbari Monfared what was going on in her ward. Akbari Monfared responded, “I’m not reporting on the ward. If you have any questions about myself, you can go ahead and ask.” The Intelligence agents use ploys to try to get prisoners to spy on their fellow inmates for the regime.
Arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison, Maryam Akbari Monfared has three brothers and one sister who were executed in 1982, 1985, and 1988, for supporting the main opposition group, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK). She has another brother who is being is held in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj. Her two other sisters and one other brother are members of the PMOI/ MEK.
When the mother of three wrote to Ahmad Shaheed, the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Maryam Akbari Monfared told him that Judge Salavati had once told her, “You are carrying your sisters and brothers’ burden.”
“They accused Maryam of being a Mohareb (waging war on God), whereas according to their own law, Mohareb is someone who fights against the regime with weapons,” said her husband.