Leila is a blogger and social media activist from Iran, passionate about human rights and critical of the mistreatment of prisoners of consciecne. In 2013 she was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards for her work. She was placed in solitary confinement and was subjected to a great deal of pressure.

After being sentenced on charges of anti-government propaganda, insulting what is sacred and insulting the Supreme Leader, Leila was given a sentence of seven years’ imprisonment. She was released provisionally pending the outcome of her appeal, but during this time, she was placed under close surveillance and faced constant harassment by her detractors. As she began to fear more and more for her safety, she managed to escape Iran with her two young daughters.

While Leila is now living in Turkey, her situation has remained difficult since she fled Iran. She has no means of supporting herself and her family, and needs medical care following her brutal treatment during her detention period. In 2019, Prisoners of Conscience was able to provide Leila with a grant to go towards the costs of her necessary medical treatment following these traumatic experiences.

In 2019, we were once again humbled by the courage and fortitude of prisoners of conscience – ordinary people and families exercising extraordinary acts of conscience to uphold their and others human rights. Our thanks go once again to our donors for their generous and committed support.

Gary Allison, chief executive, Prisoners of Conscience

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting Prisoners of Conscience and helping us to keep the voices of human rights defenders alive. All 125 grants we were able to award this year due to your generosity have gone to deserving cases like Leila.

Our grants have helped prisoners of conscience who have lost their jobs and access to public services, who have been barred from participation in social and cultural life, who have been harassed, bullied, intimidated, threatened, abused and forced to flee. And all that for being brave enough to stand up for what they believe in.

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