Shima Babaei is an Iranian women’s rights activist forced into exile in 2018 and daughter to Ebrahim Babaei, a political prisoner of the Islamic Republic since 2021.
An architecture student, Shima became a prominent women’s rights activist in Iran, synonymous with the “Girls of Revolution Street” anti-hijab demonstrations from 2017-2019. Because of her activism, she was imprisoned twice and placed in Iran’s infamous Evin prison, where she endured lengthy periods in solitary confinement and was denied access to legal representation. Facing six years of imminent imprisonment, a travel ban, and the deprivation of her citizenship rights, Shima fled Iran in 2018.
Continuing the fight beyond her country’s borders, Shima advocates against gender discrimination and mandatory hijab. With the arrival of the Iran protests in September 2022, she became a central voice in the Iranian diaspora and was part of the first group of activists to meet with French President Macron. Her commitment to the women of Iran remains steadfast; so too is her dedication to raising her father’s case.
An activist in his own right, Shima’s father Ebrahim Babaei was a former veterinarian who was forcibly disappeared and imprisoned in December 2021 while attempting to flee Iran. Over the course of his life, he’s born lashings and arrests for peacefully protesting the IRGC and for supporting his daughter. Today he faces imprisonment and multiple floggings.