Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht

British woman imprisoned in Iran in 2015 over anti-government comments made on Facebook.

Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht (Farsi: رویا صابری نژاد نوبخت) (born c. 1967) is a Iranian-British housewife who was put in prison after she returned to Iran to visit her family. While living in England, she wrote on Facebook that Iran was "too Islamic". The Iranian government put her in prison and accused her of “insulting Islamic sanctities”, a crime that carries death penalty.[1][2]

Evin prison, Tehran, Iran

Roya was born in Iran. In 1998 she emigrated to England.[3] Since 2008, she has lived in Stockport, near Manchester, England. In 2013 Roya returned to Iran to visit her family. Two weeks after she arrived, she flew to the city of Shiraz and was arrested by cyber police at the airport.[1] Roya's husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, found out his wife was in prison when he traveled to the Middle East to look for her.[4]


Roya was taken to Tehran and held at the notorious Evin prison. In June 2014, Roya was tried by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.[5][6]

Seven other Facebook users were arrested along with Roya. The other seven names are Amir Golestani, Masoud Ghasemkhani, Fariborz Kardarfar, Seyed Masoud Seyed Talebi, Amin Akramipour, Mehdi Reyshahri, and Naghmeh Shahisavandi Shirazi.[7]

In June 15 2016 five of the defendants called the "Facebook activists" were released from prison. After applying "Article 134", her sentence was reduced to five years, however she is still in Evin Prison. She is in poor health and has frequent seizures.[8]

Iran is accused of using innocent civilians as hostages to get payments from western countries. In January 2016, the U.S. government paid Iran $1.7 billion in cash. At the same time, Iran released five American citizens.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Roya Nobakht: UK-Iranian Woman Imprisoned in Iran Over Facebook Posts". 14 September 2015. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  2. "'شهروند بریتانیایی - ایرانی به اتهام اهانت به اسلام در اوین زندانی است'".
  3. "EXCLUSIVE: Family of jailed Facebook user in Iran: 'They are going to kill her '". 9 June 2014.
  4. Glendinning, Amy (1 June 2014). "MP will fight for woman jailed in Iran for 'criticising leadership on Facebook'".
  5. "Roya Saberinezhad Nobakht". Archived from the original on 2016-02-26. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  6. "رویا صابری نژاد؛ ۲۰ سال زندان برای فیس‌بوک".
  7. Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (27 May 2014). "Briton among eight jailed in Iran for web insults" – via The Guardian.
  8. "وضعیت نامناسب رویا صابری نوبخت از متهمان پرونده فعالان فیسبوکی". 15 June 2016.[permanent dead link]
  9. "Iran wants cash for hostages—what should Western powers do?". Newsweek. 12 December 2016.