MEC | February 14, 2020
Mary (21) was arrested on 12 January near Azadi Square in Tehran while protests were underway following the downing Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran. For several weeks her whereabouts were unknown. Her friends and family were becoming increasingly anxious.
The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) now has verified that Mary is being held in Qarchak prison in Varamin and has been mistreated.. She was badly beaten upon arrest and also while being taken to Vozara detention centre, handcuffed back to back with another woman.
At Vozara she was forced to sit on the ground in the yard in front of the toilets. Later she faced three interrogators and was given thirty questions to respond to. She refused to comply without a lawyer present. During the first 24 hours following arrest she was denied food.
Female officials forced Mary to strip and sit and stand several times in front of them. She was later transferred to Branch 6 of the prosecutor’s office in Evin Prison, Tehran, and charged with “disrupting public order by participating in an illegal gathering.”
Despite authorising Mary’s release on bail equivalent to more than US $2,000, the prosecutor refused to allow her conditional release. Her case was moved to the public criminal court.
Mary was previously arrested at a house church in November 2017 and imprisoned in Evin Prison for six months, having been convicted of “membership in evangelical groups,” “engaging in Christian activities,” and “acting against national security through propagating against the regime.”