Join the Free Bahareh Campaign

Apr 5, 20110 comments

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“We have been pressured and pummeled but have neither broken nor bent.  We have stood firmly, but with anxious and broken hearts, we have witnessed the plunder and despotic destruction of a flower pot for which our predecessors and us have toiled and labored to see its growth and flourishing.” -Bahareh Hedayat on the occasion of Students’ Day, December 7, 2010

The Campaign: Get Involved! Recently a group of students, women’s rights, and human rights activists created a Facebook page and came together to celebrate women and student’s rights activist, Bahareh Hedayat’s birthday (April 5, 2011) and her wedding anniversary. Simultaneously, the group is using this opportunity to demand her release by launching an awareness campaign. The coordinators state that they hope the campaign will “bring her plight to the attention of student associations, human rights organizations, and international decision makers.” The coordinators also state that the campaign will continue its activities and efforts past Bahareh’s birthday and “until the day Bahareh is released from prison.” The Bahareh Campaign has called upon concerned citizens worldwide to participate in the campaign by doing any of the below (all of which will be shared online). E-mail your finished products to

A beautiful birthday song an activist sang and posted on Facebook.


A poster designed by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

A poster designed by Amnesty International.

All the materials can be sent to the Bahareh Campaign coordinators at

Contact the Bahareh Campaign E-mail: Facebook: YouTube Channel:

Bahareh Hedayat – Background Bahareh Hedayat (born April 5, 1981) is an almost 30-year-old women’s and student’s rights activist. She helped was part of the Office for the Consolidation of Unity (Daftar Tahkim Vadat) and chaired the Women’s Commission. She helped launch the One Million Signatures Campaign in 2006 to pressure authorities to reform laws discriminatory against women. In 2001, she began her studies at the School of Economic Sciences and quickly became an active member of the Student Union. She was elected as a chair a year later, and in 2003 became one of the leading female students protesting the execution sentence of a university professor. Bahareh has been an active female student union leader despite the ongoing oppression; however, she continued to further the cause by expanding the student union’s work and establishing a link to European organizations. She has been taking up the causes of her fellow students since 2002, even in the face of pressure, torture, and continued solitary confinement. She has been detained several times. On July 13th 2008, she was rearrested. After spending a month in solitary confinement, under severe pressure, she was temporarily released again. Bahareh was arrested once again in mid-March of 2009 for participating in a peaceful gathering in front of Evin Prison held by the families of prisoners of conscience. The gathering was organized to commemorate the arrival of Nowruz, but was put down by intelligence service. The police tried unsuccessfully to arrest her twice by invading her house (once on June 15th and once again in September). She was arrested on December 31st 2009, shortly after delivering a message to the European Students. Bahareh was nominated to receive the Student Peace Prize by the European Student Union. She was again targeted after a thank you video message to the ESU. The video is below (Farsi, English subtitled). The politically motivated charges against her include “Propagation against the regime,” “Active participation in gatherings after the elections,” “Interviews with and news propagation to foreign press,” “Insulting the Leader,” “Insulting the President,” and  “Mutiny and congregation and actions against national security.” For these baseless charges, she was sentenced to 9.5 years prison. She has not had any visits with her family in the last 3 months and is also being denied phone calls and other communications. As the Free Bahareh Campaign says of the unjust situation:

“The injustices and oppression inflicted upon Bahareh are retaliation for her activism as a university student. Bahareh Hedayat, as a representative of the student activist movement in Iran, has received one of the heaviest and harshest judgments to date, and has been imprisoned for over one year under some of the most severe conditions in the methadone section of Evin Prison in Iran.“

Below are pictures of Bahareh’s friends and family celebrating her 29th birthday last year.

Please take a few minutes to contribute your own birthday project for Bahareh!