May 23, 2020
Writer, film director and producer
Acting against National Security
Dissemination of False Information
Disturbing public opinion
Disturbing public order
Propaganda against the regime
Date of Birth
After enduring 35 days in solitary confinement, Ebrahimvand was released from prison on a bail of 300 million tomans, which had to be submitted in cash, at the end of the investigations against her.
Nearly two years later, on July 22, 2018, Maryam Ebrahimvand was summoned to Branch 4 of the Cultural and Media Prosecutor’s Office. She was subsequently arrested and transferred again to Section 2A of Evin Prison.
After one month, with the conclusion of her interrogations and the issuance of a 10 billion toman bail, Ebrahimvand was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. On March 14, 2020, she was transferred back to the Womens’ Section of Evin Prison without warning.
On April 20, 2020, Ebrahimvand, who had been detained since July 2018, went on hunger strike in protest against her continued detention, the uncertain conditions she was being held in, the denial of her right to see a lawyer and the lack of information concerning her legal case or the plaintiff who had filed the case against her and the nature of the charges. On May 11, 2020, she ended her hunger strike after receiving assurances from officials and after a date was set for her case to be heard in court.
The initial indictment against Maryam Ebrahimvand had been issued on May 9, 2020, in Branch 25 of the Revolutionary Courts of Tehran, presided over by Judge Mahmoud Ebrahimi. In this indictment, Ebrahimvand was officially accused of “actions against national security through propaganda activity against the state.”
Ebrahimvand’s trial was held on May 20, 2020, in Branch 1059 of the Government Employees’ Court. During the trial, for which Ebrahimvand was present albeit without a lawyer, she was also charged with two counts of “spreading lies with the intention of disturbing the public mind”, “disruption of public order and peace” and “claims concerning actions to corrupt and influence [officials].”
The evidence cited during the court hearings for the accusation of “publishing lies” was a complaint filed by the Legal Deputy for the Office of the President of Iran in relation to a number of speeches by Maryam Ebrahimvand which occurred during meetings with Shahindokht Molaverdi and Masoumeh Ebtekar.
Likewise, the evidence cited in relation to the second part of the two charges, that of “disturbing the public mind,” was a complaint filed by the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC concerning posts made by Ebrahimvand on her personal Instagram account.
The plaintiff further alleged that Ebrahimvand also committed the crime of “inciting youth and encouraging them to emigrate abroad” through her posts on Instagram.
The court cited the disruption of a meeting between the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, and several artists, as being evidence for the accusation of “disrupting the public order and peace.”
Ebrahimvand wrote a number of letters in which she protested against the conditions she faced in prison and the state of uncertainty she was kept in concerning her legal case.
In part of a letter, which was published by the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA), she wrote, “What is more important than the seizure of my belongings and my two years of detention and uncertainty is that I was arrested and imprisoned by the Revolutionary Guards in a fabricated case without any evidence provided to support the case. After my arrest and 30 days of detention, my bail was set at 10 billion tomans and I was transferred to Qarchak Prison in Varamin. I repeatedly protested against the high price of my bail but this was ineffective. After a year, a second case was opened against me on the basis of a complaint filed by the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC on the accusation of ‘publishing lies’ and later a third case was opened against me following a complaint by the Office of the President of Iran on the accusation of ‘publishing lies’ and ‘actions to corrupt and influence’. The Office of the President filed this complaint because of my protests against conditions for artists and the widespread censorship of films which were about Hassan Rouhani during the Iftar Ceremonies of the Office of the President of Iran in June 2018. After the ceremony, my participation in the Iftar ceremony and my response to the President’s irrelevant speech on artists’ issues meant that both the Office of the President of Iran and the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were angry with me, despite the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC already having an open legal case against me. The text of the complaint against me from the Office of the President of Iran states that according to Mr Hassan Hassanpour, who himself has committed financial fraud, that I have been charged with ‘publishing lies’ and ‘actions to corrupt and influence’.”
Maryam Ebrahimvand was born in 1991 and has worked as a producer for a number of films such as The Satire of Love, We Are All Alone and The Girls’ Boarding House. In addition to her film and cultural activities, Ebrahimvand is also well-known for her candidacy for the 2017 Iranian presidential election, for which she was one of the few registered female presidential candidates.