Iran: MEFD calls for immediate release of prominent rights activist

 
 

NM 2London, MEFD – Middle East Forum for Development (MEFD) strongly condemns the arrest of human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, who was arrested by intelligence ministry officials yesterday on charges of “crimes against national security” and taken to the infamous Evin prison in Tehran to continue serving a six-year jail term.

Narges Mohammadi was initially arrested in June of 2010 for her peaceful activism and suffered a mental breakdown due to the series of interrogations she was exposed to. In July 2010, she was conditionally released from prison and hospitalised with muscle paralysis. The Iranian authorities condemned Mohammadi in 2010 to 11 years imprisonment on charges of “meeting and conspiring against the Islamic Republic”, anti-government publicity,” and “collaborating with the Centre for Human Rights Defenders”.The authorities reduced the sentence to six years following an appeal in March 2011.

Mohammadi has been arrested and interrogated several times in the past, then released on bail in order to be able to receive urgently needed medical treatment, but threats and harassment by authorities have continued unabatedly.

Mohammadi has been engaged in campaigning against the death penalty in Iran, peaceful protests against acid attacks targeting women and other civil rights activities. She also supports the mother of Sattar Beheshti in her quest for justice for the killing of her son. Sattar Beheshti was an Iranian blogger and critic of the government. He was arrested in October 2012 by the Iranian Cyber Police unit and killed several days after his arrest whilst in custody as a result of torture in detention.

“Narges Mohammadi’s case is another disgraceful example of how Iranian authorities brand peaceful activists as a threat to national security in order to have them convicted of serious offenses” said Mosa Zahed, Executive Director at Middle East Forum for Development.

Middle East Forum for Development joins other Non-Governmental Organisations in condemning Narges Mohammadi’s arrest and calls on Ahmed Shaheed, the special rapporteur for the human rights situation in Iran, to do whatever he can in securing her immediate release from Evin prison.

 

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