Prominent Iranian human rights defender issued 16-year sentence


Narges Mohammadi1London, MEFD – Narges Mohammadi, an already-imprisoned renowned human rights activist and vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran, has been sentenced to serve ten years of a sixteen-year prison sentence following a new trial which was chaired by notorious Judge Abolghasem Salavati, head of the 15th division of Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court. The Iranian authorities have fabricated new charges against Mohammadi relating to her campaign that aims to abolish the death penalty in Iran. These new charges include “founding an illegal group, gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security and spreading propaganda against the system”. Judge Salavati punished Mohammadi for having participated in interviews with international media and for having met with Catherine Ashton in March 2014, the then European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in the Austrian embassy in Tehran. Mohammadi is already serving a separate six-year prison sentence in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran on trumped-up charges due to her human rights activities. She was sentenced in October 2011 to eleven-year imprisonment but this was reduced to six years following her appeal. Mohammadi’s health has been severely affected due to the fact that she has been detained and interrogated several times in the past and threatened and harassed by the Iranian authorities. She developed epilepsy and a serious neurological disorder which results in muscle paralysis, and whilst in prison she suffered several seizures for which she was ultimately hospitalised but has never received proper medical care. Following Narges Mohmmadi’s arrest to continue serving her six-year jail term on 5th May 2015, Middle East Forum for Development initiated an on-line petition which calls for her immediate and unconditional release. People from across the globe showed their solidarity by signing the petition, including prominent Iranian human rights activists, artists and journalists. Middle East Forum for Development calls on the Iranian authorities to uphold the core international human rights treaties and immediately and unconditionally release Narges Mohammadi from prison.

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