Turkey slated to deport Iranian anti-Hijab activist who faces execution

Iran arrested and beat Maryam Shariatmadari in 2018 for removing her headscarf.

A woman wearing a hijab [Illustrative] (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
A woman wearing a hijab [Illustrative]
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Turkey arrested a prominent Iranian feminist and anti-hijab activist and plans to deport her to Iran where she may face the death penalty.
The fate of Maryam Shariatmadari electrified the Twitterverse, prompting Iranian-Americans to protest against her deportation.
“Maryam Shariatmadari is a leading Iran activist who courageously defied forced hejab [sic] laws. For her civil disobedience, she was thrown to the ground & into the dungeon. She fled to Turkey but now [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has arrested her & wants to deport her back – she could well be executed,” tweeted the Iranian-American public intellectual Mariam Memarsadeghi.
In 2018, the Iranian authorities arrested Shariatmadari, then a 32-year-old computer science student at Amir Kabir University in Tehran, for her role in a protest against the forced wearing of hijabs. A police officer pushed her off a utility platform from which she was waving her hijab in defiance of the Iranian regime’s gender apartheid system.
The National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI), a non-partisan NGO of Iranian-Americans, tweeted: “Iranian women’s rights activist & political refugee Maryam Shariatmadari has been detained by Turkish authorities and is facing deportation to Iran where she will be imprisoned and possibly tortured and executed.”
Embedded in the NUFDI tweet is a video of Shariatmadari, who says “This is without cause… they chose a few people for deportation.”
After a two-day detention in 2018, she was released and eventually fled to Turkey. The US government news outlet Voice of America reported at the time that a sister of Shariatmadari “sent an audio message in which she said her sibling and their mother had been beaten by unknown individuals who detained them in the southern Tehran district of Shahr Rey.”
The Center for Human Rights in Iran reported in 2018 that a Tehran criminal court sentenced Shariatmadari to a year in prison for her protest, convicting her for “encouraging corruption by removing her hijab.”
Iranian lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is currently incarcerated for human rights work, represented Shariatmadari. Sotoudeh told Deutsche Welle’s Persian service at the time that the Iranian authorities freed the mother hours after the beatings. They detained Shariatmadari, confiscating her computer and other personnel possessions.
The Iranian-American named Rastakhiz on Twitter wrote: “Iranian women rights activist #MaryamShariatmadari is in danger of deportation to Iran from Turkey where she sought asylum 2 years ago. She is one of the courageous “girls of Revolution street” who publicly defied compulsory veiling. Her deportation can put her life in danger.
The Jerusalem Post has sent press queries to Turkey’s government.