Text Message | Turkish Women Save Rebel Iranian Woman From Life in Prison
The sudden arrest of Maryam Shariatmadari, one of the iconic anti-hejab protesters called Girls of Enghelab Street (Revolution Street), in the Turkish city of Denizli was as dramatic as what followed next!
Maryam had jumped bail and fled to Turkey in 2018 after she was arrested the second time under national security charges in Iran.
Then, suddenly last week, September 8th, she was arrested by Turkish police claiming "her residency permit" had expired and attempted to deport her back to Iran.
But Maryam wasn't going without a fight. She started streaming via Instagram her detention by Turkish police from the back of the police car and appealed to Turkish women to save her from deportation.
Word quickly spread in Turkish social media and, women swung into action, organizing legal support and a widely supported social media pressure campaign to gain her release.
Women all over Turkey, from celebrities to students, pressured their government to release Maryam immediately.
Aydin Bar Association sprang into action and provided her with legal support and Gokhan Bozkurt, president of the Aydin Bar Association began monitoring the situation over night.
Next day Aydin Bar Association president tweeted, “Meryem from Iran is now free. Denizli Bar Association and our lawyer friends are doing what is necessary.”
After spending a night in police custody, Maryam was freed and granted official refugee status due to the pressure campaign by Turkish women, rights activists and lawyers who chose to stand by an Iranian woman.