A well-known Iranian activist has reportedly disappeared shortly after her release. The exact circumstances were initially unclear. According to the web portal Eslahatnews, which is close to the reform politicians, the political activist Sepideh Gholian was arrested on Wednesday on her way home. Social media users reported that she disappeared just hours after her release from prison.
The 28-year-old was released from the notorious Ewin prison in the capital Tehran on Wednesday after more than four years in prison. The activist was first arrested in late 2018 after covering union protests. Human rights activists have repeatedly complained about their prison conditions in the past. According to Iranian media reports, she is said to have been pardoned.
Shortly after her release, a video showed the 28-year-old without the mandatory headscarf with her hair down. She wore a colorful traditional dress and held a bouquet of flowers in her hand. Addressing Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the woman yelled: "We'll put you under the ground!"
Since the most recent wave of protests in autumn 2022, young Iranians have been challenging the political and spiritual leaders with new self-confidence. Triggered by the death of the Iranian Kurd Jina Mahsa Amini in police custody, the demonstrations plunged the Islamic Republic into the worst crisis in decades. The 22-year-old was arrested for violating Islamic dress codes.