Iran again: HRD Narges Mohammadi gets 11 years prison sentence

September 30, 2011

Narges Mohammadi, who became ill after being detained by security officials, was convicted by a court in Tehran to 11 years in jail. Narges Mohammadi, 39, the deputy head of Iran’s Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), a rights organisation presided over by the Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, was picked up last year by security officials who raided her house without a warrant for her arrest. She was taken to Tehran’s Evin prison where she was kept in solitary confinement but was released after a month and taken to hospital. It emerged on Tuesday that a court in Tehran has now convicted her on three charges: acting against the national security, membership of the DHRC and propaganda against the regime.

“I’m not involved in politics, I’m only a human rights activist,” Mohammadi said by phone from Tehran. “I was informed of the 11-year sentence through my lawyers, who were given an unprecedented 23-page judgment issued by the court in which they repeatedly likened my human rights activities to attempts to topple the regime.” In March the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a US-based non-governmental organisation, reported that security forces had stolen Mohammadi’s medical records from the hospital. Her husband, Taghi Rahmani, a political activist, has spent a third of his life in jail.

Amnesty International reacted with outrage to Mohammadi’s conviction. “The verdict claims that Narges Mohammadi is a liar and has tarnished the image of Iran,” said Drewery Dyke, Amnesty’s researcher on Iran. “However, this latest verdict regrettably does exactly that by showing what Iran’s judiciary thinks of the government’s so-called commitment to uphold human rights in the country, and indeed exactly how it deals with those advocating international human rights standards.”

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