Iran: Activist’s sentence reduced, battle not over
An Iranian appeals court has reduced activist Narges Mohammadi’s sentence to six years. Narges was the deputy director of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), co-founded by Nobel peace laureateShirin Ebadi, until it was shut down by the Iranian regime in late 2008. Since then, the regime has been targeting anyone with actual or perceived ties to the centre with prosecutions and harsh sentencing. Narges was originally set to serve 11 years in prison.
Narges refuses to request a pardon because she is not a criminal.The charges against her include ‘spreading propaganda against the regime’ and ‘gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security.’ Narges is currently awaiting her summons to start serving her sentence in Evin Prison. Once she starts serving her sentence Narges will join other prisoners of conscience. She will be leaving her two small children, and already suffers health issues due to previous time in prison. This is common among former prisoners in Iran. Last year, Narges won the Swedish Per Anger Prize for humanitarian work and initiatives in the name of democracy.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative and other human rights groups are calling for all prisoners of conscience in Iran to be released immediately. They are also urging for Iran to allow its citizens and activists to carry out their peaceful and legitimate human rights work without risk of harassment or prosecution.
To learn more about the Defenders of Human Rights Centre, check out their website here.
Shirin Ebadi: Letter to my dear colleague Narges Mohammadi, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 11 August 2010
Iran must overturn conviction of prominent woman human rights defender, Amnesty International, 20 March 2012
“I am not a criminal. I will not request a pardon.” Says Narges, International Organization to Preserve Human Rights in Iran, 21 March 2012