Charity Worker Who Assisted Flood Victims Arrested in Tehran
Charity worker Akram Nasirian was arrested by unidentified security agents in Tehran for unknown reasons, according to the Telegram channel of the Voice of Iranian Women charity organization.
Nasirian, who prior to her arrest had worked in flood-impacted areas of the country, made a phone call to her family the following day and said she was being held for interrogations.
“My mother Akram Nasirian was arrested on the street on Monday, April 29  and taken to Evin Prison without anyone informing us,” her son Nima Mehdipour said in a video message on Instagram.
He added: “For what crime have you arrested my mother? For teaching Afghan refugees to read and write and helping flood victims in the south of the country? I call on all social activists and human rights groups to work for her immediate and unconditional release. Free Akram Nasirian.”
The Voice of Iranian Women charity, where Nasirian is a “leading member,” describes its mission as working to “reflect the struggles, defeats and achievements of women in Iranian society and strives to empower women in their quest for a better life in spite of hardships and discrimination.”
Nasirian volunteered as a literacy instructor with the Voice of Iranian Women, which especially focuses on educating women, child laborers and the children of Afghan refugees in Iran.
The organization also financially supports Afghan refugees in obtaining state identification documents and has issued statements on social issues, including acid attacks on women accused of wearing an “improper” hijab.
Nasirian is not the first person to be arrested after working in flood-impacted areas in Iran.
After the country was hit by rounds of flooding in several provinces beginning in March 2019, the authorities warned citizens that they could be prosecuted for their online postings about the devastation.
In April, agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) intelligence organization arrested at least 11 Arab-Iranian volunteers as they were trying to help people in the flood-stricken village of Gurieh, Khuzestan Province, Karim Dahimi, a London-based minority rights activist, told CHRI.