Iranian authorities have abducted, beaten and imprisoned a student opposition leader, who is in danger of torture or death. Supporters have begun an international solidarity campaign to free her.
Shiva Kamalipour Azad is a courageous 29 year-old journalist and executive member of the Confederation of Iranian Students (CIS). On April 17, 2011, intelligence officers from the Office of the Presidency arrested Shiva at the International Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, as she was leaving for Dubai to pick up a United States visa. The officers abducted her, seized her passport, camera, computer and phone, and brought her to the notorious Evin Prison to appear before a special section of the Revolutionary Court.
Shiva was held incommunicado for a week of detention and interrogation, and released on bail for three days. CIS leaders believe she was subjected to severe beatings while in custody.
Then, while staying at her grandfather’s house, Shiva was arrested again – this time in a middle-of-the-night raid by six intelligence officers. She was blindfolded and taken back to Evin Prison, where she is now being held in a special ward for political prisoners and is in solitary confinement.
Shiva recently earned her bachelor’s degree in English translation from Payame Nour University in Tehran. On November 6, 2005, Shiva was a speaker at a national seminar of the scientific societies of law entitled “A study of the impediments of Iran’s membership in WTO”. During that conference, the Confederation of Iranian Students officially began its activities as a re-constituted opposition group, and Shiva started working with CIS as an active member.
Shiva is a member of the editorial committee of CIS Press, the official news agency of the Confederation of Iranian Students. This year she was selected as a reporter for participating in the Senior Journalists Seminar on “Bridging Gaps Between the United States and the Muslim World.” Shiva was also invited by the Center for Culture and Security at the Institute of World Politics as a speaker in the forthcoming US-Iran Relarions and New Generation Conference scheduled for May 8, 2011.