Hedayat, a senior member of Iran’s largest reformist student group and a women’s rights activist, was arrested in the crackdown that followed the disputed presidential vote in 2009. She was sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison on security charges. Her sentence is one of the heaviest ever issued for a student activist.
A group of Iranian activists recently launched a campaign calling for Bahareh’s release in an effort to bring attention to her plight.
Campaign members have distributed a petition calling for her release and have also launched a Facebook page that has attracted almost 4,000 supporters so far. The page includes messages of support, videos, and photos posted by supporters.
Here is a video from an Amnesty International meeting in Dublin where activists sing "Happy Birthday" to Bahareh:
Some of Bahareh’s friends and colleagues have written articles about her and her achievements that have been posted on news websites.
Washington-based rights activist Parvaneh Vahidmanesh, who helped launch the campaign, acknowledged to "Persian Letters" that the campaign might not have a direct impact on Hedayat's situation in jail. Nevertheless, she said it gives hope to her family and friends and shows that she has not been forgotten.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari