Maryam Shafipour

Human Rights Defender

Region(s): Middle East
Country of focus: Iran
Based in Toronto

Maryam Shafipour is an Iranian human rights activist. She was a member of the women’s committee of former speaker of Parliament Mehdi Karroubi’s campaign for President in Iran’s June 2009 elections.

Following seven months of pre-trial detention in Evin Prison ––including more than two months in solitary confinement–– Shafipour was sentenced in March 2014 to seven years in prison for her political views and action. Human rights organizations called for her release and condemned her conviction and prison sentence. She was released in July 2015. Her activism has included advocating for the rights of university students barred from higher education because of their activism, and for the release of political prisoners (including Presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi). Upon her release, Shafipour launched a campaign “In Support of Imprisoned Mothers” in coordination with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, which began at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

In 2016, she launched the #FreeNarges social media campaign following the sentencing of human rights activist Narges Mohammadi to 16 years in prison, as part of a concerted effort to draw attention to Narges’ case and to eliminate discrimination against Iranian women.