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The New Arab Staff

Kurdish female activist jailed for 15 years after returning to Iran despite 'amnesty promise'

Shahnaz Sadeghifar was given a 15 year jail sentence [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 July, 2020

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The Kurdish activist was given promises of amnesty by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
A former Kurdish activist was given a long jail sentence on Sunday, after being jailed on her return to Iran despite assurances from authorities of an amnesty.

Shahnaz Sadeghifar, aged 32, was handed a 15-year jail term last week for her former membership of the Kurdistan Freedom Party (PAK), according to the IranWire website.

Sadeghifar and her teenage daughter were arrested and held at a prison and intelligence detention centre in Urmia, western Iran, when she re-entered the country in 2019.

Her daughter was reportedly acquitted and will be released from prison in the coming days, according to the website.

Sadeghifar resigned from the PAK last year and was given a letter of amnesty by the Revolutionary Guards' intelligence division, which granted her safe passage to Iran, where she has two other daughters.

Iran's first Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued an edict that allowed former Kurdish activists to return home and avoid criminal prosecution if they received a letter of amnesty, although they would forgo some civil rights.

Despite having such a letter from Iranian intelligence, Sadeghifar and her daughter were detained shortly after their return home.

There are fears for Sadeghifa's mental and physical health in detention, where conditions are said to be poor and torture rife.

The PAK is an Iranian-Kurdish separatist movement that seeks to establish an independent state and is viewed as a terrorist organisation by Tehran.

The movement took part in the Iraqi-Kurdish military campaign against the Islamic State group and has also engaged in clashes with Iranian and Tehran-backed Iraqi militia forces.

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