Niloufar Bayani was arrested on 25 January 2018, originally, on charges of espionage and using her work to gain access to military sites in relation to her conservation efforts to protect the endangered Persian Cheetah.
Niloufar is the program manager of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation and has previously worked for the UN Environment Program on a number of conservation and environment based projects around the world. She was educated at McGill University (undergraduate) and Colombia University (Masters). .
Since her arrest she has been kept in solitary confinement in Evin Prison awaiting trial. The majority of the State’s evidence is based on her confession which she claims was forced under torture and abuse. She was also absent in 3 of the 5 days of her trial. The circumstances of her detention and trial amount to grave violations of international human rights law which the Iranian authorities are bound by.
On 23 November 2019, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of “contacts with the U.S. enemy state” and “gaining illegitimate income”. Nilourfar has also been asked to repay all of her paychecks from the United Nations from when she was employed.
We are working with Scholars At Risk (SAR) to raise awareness of Niloufar’s cause and are gathering signatures in order to urge the UK Foreign Secretary to take action on this matter. We call for the Foreign Secretary to advocate for her immediate release and urge the Iranian authorities to ensure her well-being and to grant her access to impartial and fair legal council and her family.
For further information and updates about Niloufar’s case please go to SAR’s page at: www.scholarsatrisk.org/actions/niloufar-bayani-iran/#Case%20Information or her family’s advocacy page at: http://niloufarbayani.com/
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