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IRAN: Vahid Akfari

In Iran, between 2017 and 2018, tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against poverty, corruption, repression and authoritarianism. Around 5,000 protesters were arbitrarily detained in a protest in January, and 25 were killed, and more than 100 were arrested in a protest in July/August and at least one person was killed.

Vahid Afkari was arbitrarily detained following his peaceful participation in these protests. Subjected to repeated physical and psychological torture, including beatings, verbal degradation, and threats to

his family, Vahid is now serving a total of 33 years and nine months’ imprisonment with 74 lashes, following grossly unfair trials.

Two of Vahid’s brother’s – Navid Afkari and Habib Afkari – were also arrested in connection with their participation in the protests. In 2020 Navid was executed in secret and Habib was released from prison in 2022, following sustained global campaigning by his family, Amnesty International and activists around the world.

The Iranian authorities have continued their militarized response to protests in 2021 and 2022. Instead of bringing perpetrators to justice, the authorities continue their longstanding pattern of state cover-up and denial, praising security forces and propagating false narratives to deny and distort the truth about the nature and scale of human rights violations committed by security forces during protests.

Throughout history, protest has been a powerful tool for change. But governments around the world are cracking down on protests and it must be protected.

Protect the protest

Add your voice to our global call to protect the protest and join our campaign today.