Detention of human rights defender in Iran

Who we wrote to

The president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

What’s the issue

We’re concerned by the reports that Narges Mohammadi, a well-known human rights defender in Iran and deputy director of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), was sentenced to a further prison term of 16 years on 18 May 2016, which is to be served at Evin prison.

She’s charged with:

  • being a member of the DHRC
  • participation in peaceful assembly
  • propaganda against the State
  • collusion that allegedly harmed national security

Ms Mohammadi was previously convicted in 2011 to 11 years’ imprisonment, which was later reduced to six years on appeal, but she was subsequently arrested in 2015 on similar grounds.

We're concerned that her most recent prison term may be linked to ongoing judicial harassment against Ms Mohammadi, which has already been brought to the attention of the president in our previous letters of 22 June 2015 and 22 September 2015.

We're particularly concerned that a pattern of detentions of human rights defenders and lawyers appears to be developing in Iran.

We understand that Ms Mohammadi ended her hunger strike after 20 days on 16 July 2016, after having received a written commitment by the associate prosecutor of the Islamic Republic of Iran, that allowed her to contact her children once a week.

What we asked for

We called upon the Iranian authorities to:

  • immediately release of Ms Narges Mohammadi from detention and that communication with her children and with her family should be guaranteed for the duration of her detention
  • honour its treaty obligations to ensure the protection of all human rights defenders and to guarantee that they can carry out their work without harassment, intimidation, or persecution

We'll continue to monitor the detention of Ms Mohammadi, as well as the situation of other human rights defenders and lawyers in the Islamic Republic of Iran who are prevented from carrying out their duties and activities.

Timeline

2011 – Ms Mohammadi was convicted to 11 years’ imprisonment, which was later reduced to six

2015 – Ms Mohammadi was arrested

June 2015 – we sent a letter to the president

September 2015 – we sent a letter to the president

May 2016 – Ms Mohammadi was sentenced to a further prison term of 16 years

July 2016 – Ms Mohammadi ended her hunger strike after 20 days