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Iranian Activist Sentenced To More Than Three Years In Prison For Attending A Concert


Maryam Karimbeigi and her mother, Shahnaz Akmali

Rights activist Maryam Karimbeigi has been sentenced to three years and seven months in prison for attending a concert by the popular Iranian singer Ebi in Turkey.

Amir Raisian, Karimbeigi's lawyer, told the Modara website on August 1 that the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran recently handed down the sentence for the charge of "assembly and collusion with the intention of committing a crime against national security."

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She also was sentenced to one year in prison for the "crime of propaganda against the system," and for a charge of "possessing alcoholic beverages" she was sentenced to one year in prison plus a fine and 74 lashes. Under Iranian law, only the most severe punishment is served.

Karimbeigi, whose brother, Mostafa Karimbeigi, was killed in the crackdown that followed mass street protests over the disputed June 2009 presidential vote, was arrested on June 14.

Karimbeigi once wrote on social media that it was her dream to attend an Ebi concert and was invited by the singer himself to an event in Turkey. A picture from backstage of that concert, which she posted on social media, was then used against her, with authorities saying she had acted against national security.

Karimbeigi and her mother, Shahnaz Akmali, have become outspoken defenders of rights for those killed during peaceful protests in Iran since Mostafa Karimbeigi was shot and killed by Iranian security forces during widespread protests following a disputed 2009 presidential election.

In April, Karimbeigi was summoned to the security office at the Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, to receive an official explanation after she was allegedly expelled from the school while studying for her master's degree in sociology.

Shahnaz Akmali was also sentenced in October 2019 to one year in prison and barred from posting on social media and banned from leaving Iran.

With reporting and writing by Ardeshir Tayebi
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