Free Vahid, unjustly detained for peaceful protest in Iran (W4R 2022)

In Iran hundreds of protestors continue to call out the injustices of their government and authorities, exercising their right to protest. However, protestors like brothers Navid, Habib and Vahid are being prosecuted, abused, and even killed.

What is happening in Iran?

Right now, the world is watching on in horror as deadly events unfold in Iran. The death toll continues to rise, as nationwide protests are brutally quashed by the Iranian authorities.

This crisis of impunity in Iran has emboldened the Iranian authorities to kill hundreds of protesters, and torture and ill-treat thousands more in recent years – all without fear of consequences.

Vahid Afkari is one of those people. He’s been tortured, beaten, held in solitary confinement, and sentenced to decades in prison and 74 lashes – all for participating in a peaceful protest.

The case of Vahid Afkari

Vahid was arrested alongside his brothers Habib and Navid in 2018. Much like the brave people of Iran risking their lives for justice and freedom right now, Vahid and his brothers took to the streets calling for an end to inequality and political repression.

After their arrest, the three brothers were held in solitary confinement where they were tortured and forced to “confess” to crimes they repeatedly said they did not commit. Shortly after, authorities unjustly sentenced Vahid and Habib to 74 lashes each, and decades in prison. Their brother Navid was sentenced to death.

In September 2020, Navid was shockingly executed in secret – without any warning to him, his family, or his lawyers. His grieving brother, Vahid, was taken to a windowless solitary confinement cell and remains there to this day, as punishment for not making public statements against supporters seeking justice for him and his family.

Yet Vahid has stood firmly with his supporters.

The execution of Navid ignited outrage in Iran and throughout the world. Thousands stood up and spoke out, leading to escalated campaigning for Habib and Vahid. This global pressure saw Habib finally released from prison in March 2022, after spending 550 days in solitary confinement.

People power works – how you can help

Totally isolated from other prisoners, Vahid is denied access to healthcare, fresh air, telephone calls and family visits. Global pressure can help free Vahid, like it did for his brother.

Millions of compassionate people like you take part in Write for Rights – Amnesty’s annual global campaign, which is on right now.

Call for Vahid’s freedom, so he can be safely reunited with his family.

When courageous people protest, they make the world a better place. We must protect the right to protest wherever it is restricted and whenever it is at risk.

For Write for Rights 2022, we are taking action for brave individuals from around the world, who have all paid a great price for speaking truth to power. We run Write for Rights every year because it works – real change happens when ordinary people come together to take action.

Learn more about Write for Rights. Write a letter, change a life – including yours.