Mahsa Amini: two Christian women prisoners also sign appeal against executions

30 women currently in prison sign an open letter to say 'no' to summary trials and hangings of peaceful protesters. Sara Ahmadi and Malihe Nazari are serving eight and six years for membership in prayer houses. Three other female journalists arrested in recent days for reporting on the ayatollahs' repression.

Tehran (AsiaNews) - Two Christian converts from Islam are among the 30 Iranian women who have signed an open letter from prison to say "no" to summary trials and "state executions" of peaceful demonstrators in the streets protesting against the death of 22 year old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.

According to activists from Article18, a site specialising in documenting the repressions taking place in the Islamic Republic, the two women are Sara Ahmadi and Malihe Nazari, who are respectively serving eight and six years in prison for membership of prayer houses. 

Both joined fellow inmates in the women's area of the notorious Evin prison, signing the statement shared on social media yesterday by another of the women signatories, Fariba Adelkhah.

"We, the political and ideological prisoners of the women’s ward of Evin prison, demand an end to the executions of protesters and an end to the unjust sentences imposed on prisoners in Iran,” the 30 women wrote. 

In the open letter, the women declare that they come from different religions, cultures, backgrounds - Christian, Baha'i, monarchist, Marxist, environmentalist, mothers for justice, etc - but that they are at the same time united by the battle against 'state executions'. "We have all been sentenced, to a total of 124 years in prison, following unfair and non-transparent trials. This is equivalent to several generations of human life. We defend the right of people to live, with justice."

Sara is the wife of Homayoun Zhaveh, a 64-year-old man with advanced Parkinson's disease, who is also serving a two-year sentence in Evin for his involvement in prayers organised in house churches.

These are the "house-churches" opposed by the ayatollahs' regime, which considers them to be hideouts of "enemy groups" that "threaten" national security; to date there are at least 18 Christians in prison for their membership of these groups. Malihe, on the other hand, was part of the group of people arrested for being linked to Joseph Shahbazian, an Iranian-Armenian pastor who is now serving a 10-year sentence in Evin.

In the meantime, the arrests of female journalists who report on the government repression of street protests through their work continue. In recent days three more female reporters have been arrested and taken to prison, bringing to 79 the total number of reporters - men and women - who have ended up in cells since the start of the demonstrations for Mahsa Amini in mid-September last year.

According to reports by the Tehran Journalists Association, the latest are Mmes Melika Hashemi, Saideh Shafiei and Mehrnoush Zarei, but there are no details other than the names. The reformist daily Etemad adds that the female reporters were allegedly transferred to Evin.