Take Action for Human Rights

Free Yasaman Aryani, in jail for peacefully protesting forced veilings


Breaking: Yasaman Aryani’s sentence has been reduced from 16 years in prison — to nine years and seven months.

It seems like the Iranian authorities are listening to our voices. But even one more day in prison is one too many. We must leverage this moment to demand her unconditional and immediate release. Please take action right now.

With her hair boldly uncovered, Yasaman Aryani handed out white flowers to women passengers on a public train. A video of her brave act of defiance went viral in March 2019, prompting Iran’s authorities to arrest her. Now Yasaman has been sentenced to a shocking 16-year prison term — all because she believes women should have the freedom to choose what they wear.

It was International Women’s Day 2019 and Yasaman, an actor who loves mountain climbing, stood up to Iran’s forced veiling laws in a brave act of defiance.

She spoke of her hopes for a future when all women would have the freedom to choose what to wear, so that one day they could walk together “me without the hijab and you with the hijab.” On 10 April, Iran’s authorities arrested Yasaman, holding her for days while interrogators questioned her. On 31 July, Yasaman learned to her shock that she had been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Yasaman’s cruel punishment is part of a wider crackdown on women campaigning against forced veiling laws in Iran. Since 2018, dozens of women, including Yasaman’s mother, Monireh Arabshahi, have been arrested.

Take Action: Tell the Head of the Judiciary to free Yasaman and her mother, Monireh Arabshahi, now.

Your Message

Dear Mr. Raisi,


Yasaman Aryani and her mother, Monireh Arabshahi, were sentenced to a shocking 16 years in prison for campaigning against discriminatory forced veiling laws. They were arrested in April 2019 in relation to a video that showed them without headscarves, handing out flowers on a women-only train on International Women’s Day. This brave act, where Yasaman spoke of her hope for a future when all women in Iran would have the freedom to choose what to wear, was shared in a video that went viral on social media.


I urge you to release Yasaman Aryani and her mother Monireh Arabshahi immediately and unconditionally, as they are prisoners of conscience, jailed solely for their human rights work. Until they are released, please ensure they have regular contact with a lawyer of their choosing. I also urge you to stop criminalizing the work of women’s rights defenders and abolish forced veiling laws.


Yours sincerely,