(Updated 9 January 2020)
Brutal transfer of Narges Mohammadi to distant Zanjan Prison.
this article in Ms Magazine.
Iran Prisoner of Conscience Narges Mohammadi
Iranian human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Narges Mohammadi received a 16-year prison sentence after she was convicted, following an unfair trial in April 2016, of the charges of "founding an illegal group", "gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security", and "spreading propaganda against the system". Her convictions are based solely on her human rights work.
In May 2019 she was hospitalized for an emergency hysterectomy and was quickly returned to Evin Prison against doctors' advice. Prison authorities then refused to give her the antibiotics necessary to prevent post-operative infections. Denial or postponement of medical care is a tactic often employed against political prisoners in Iran.
Narges Mohammadi is a distinguished and passionate defender of human rights. She was vice-president
of the Center for Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) which reported on violations of
human rights in Iran and provided pro-bono legal representation to political prisoners and support to
their families before it was forcibly closed by the Iranian authorities in December 2008. The
Center was co-founded with prominent human rights attorneys, including Iran’s Nobel Peace
Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. Narges Mohammadi also founded the campaign Step by Step to Stop
Death Penalty, a group advocating for abolition of the death penalty in Iran.
Narges Mohammadi has paid more than most for her human rights activism. She has suffered years of harassment and intimidation from the Iranian authorities and has been in and out of prison for over a decade. She is currently serving a total of 22 years in prison. She was convicted of several unsubstantiated national security charges including "membership of an illegal organization whose aim is to harm national security" for founding Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty; "spreading propaganda against the system;" and "assembly and collusion against national security." The "evidence" used against her included her media interviews; participating in gatherings outside prisons before executions to support the families of death row prisoners; her connections with other human rights defenders, such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi; and her meeting with Catherine Ashton, the former European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on International Women's Day and other women human rights defenders in March 2014.
Earlier this year Narges Mohammadi was not able to communicate regularly with her twelve-year-
old twins; after her arrest in 2015 they joined their father Taghi Rahmani in Paris, where he
lives. She suffers from a number of serious health problems which have been exacerbated
because of her treatment by authorities, and for which she has not been allowed adequate medical
care. She has undergone hunger strikes to protest her treatment, including in January 2019 to
protest the ongoing denial of medical care. She underwent gall bladder surgery in July 2018 and
was hospitalized for a kidney problem in August 2018. Narges Mohammadi also has a
neurological disorder that can result in seizures and temporary partial paralysis, and for which she
needs to receive ongoing specialized medical care.
Narges Mohammadi is a
2018 recipient of the Andrei Sakharov Prize
awarded by the
American Physical Society. The prize recognizes
outstanding leadership and/or achievements of
scientists in upholding human rights.
"for her leadership in campaigning for peace, justice,
and the abolition of the death penalty and for her
unwavering efforts to promote the human rights and
freedoms of the Iranian people, despite persecution
that has forced her to suspend her scientific pursuits
and endure lengthy incarceration."
Take Action for Narges Mohammadi
Group 22's work for Narges Mohammadi
In 2016, Group 22 held a rally on April 21, Narges Mohammadi's birthday, at the Federal Building in Westwood. Photos are posted in our Facebook album.
We joined other groups around the world who held actions using the tag #UnitedForNarges.
For 2017 Nowruz, Alexi created a
collage of European and US groups working to free Narges.
In 2019 Jean-Christophe of Amnesty Belgium compiled a
review of recent work
done for Narges by groups in Norway, Sweden, the USA, Denmark, Switzerland, and of course Belgium.
More About Narges Mohammadi
BBC Persian visits Narges Mohammadi's family in Paris.
Narges Mohammedi's Letter [4 August 2015] "Tearing My Heart to Pieces"
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
More About Human Rights in Iran
Amnesty International (September 2017)
Caught in a Web of Repression: Iran's Human Rights Defenders Under Attack
Download the Report
HEALTH TAKEN HOSTAGE: Cruel Denial of Medical Care in Iran Prisons
From Campaign for Human Rights in Iran,
INSIDE THE WOMENS'S WARD: Mistreatment of Women Political Prisoners at Iran's Evin Prison.
Amnesty International Annual Report (Iran)
Iran Country Page
US State Dept Report, Iran
Group 22 Home Page