Saba Vasefi: Attempted Arrest, Accident, and Coma
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a reliable source confirmed that Saba Vasefi, a young human rights and women’s movement activist is in a coma following an accident last Tuesday. According to this source, a motorcycle ran into her while she was on a day trip to Shahriar, near Tehran, to pursue a death sentence case. The accident’s impact caused Vasefi to hit her head against a hard object on the roadside.
She lost consciousness then and slipped into a coma. She has been in a coma for the past 72 hours. Doctors said that it is not clear when she might regain consciousness.
Just one day before the accident, security forces appeared at Saba Vasefi’s home on Monday to arrest her. She had been summoned several times before and security officials had given her telephone warnings about continuing her human rights work. Vasefi’s home was thoroughly searched on Monday and forces took her personal notes, address book, books, and curriculum syllabus from courses she used to teach at the university.
The said source told the Campaign that security forces also took documents pertaining to a research project on which Ms. Asefi worked for three years. The copy confiscated from her home was the final copy of her research which she was editing prior to publication. Vasefi worked as a researcher at Tarbiat Modares University’s Research Center.
Security forces went to Saba Vasefi’s home while her family had no information about her whereabouts. On Tuesday, her family’s efforts finally led to the discovery that she had been in an accident on Monday. Saba Vasefi’s mother and her family are in dire psychological condition following the discovery of her accident and her state of coma. They hope she would regain consciousness from her coma, the continuation of which could face her with serious danger.
On 20 January 2010, Saba Vasefi was dismissed from her academic job at Shahid Beheshti University for unknown reasons. Her efforts to find out reasons for her dismissal were unsuccessful. She had worked at the University as a professor of Persian Literature since 2006.