Iranian activist Narges Mohamadi sentenced to eight years in prison and 70 lashes

The family of the human rights activist has complained that it has been a five-minute trial and that they have not been allowed to communicate with her
La iraní Narges Mohammadi, delegada del Centro de Defensores de los Derechos Humanos AP/Magali Girardin

AP/Magali Girardin  -   Iranian Narges Mohammadi, delegate from the Centre for Human Rights Defenders

An Iranian court has sentenced human rights activist Narges Mohamadi to eight years in prison and 70 lashes in a trial held behind closed doors and in just five minutes, according to her husband Taghi Rahmani on his Twitter account from Paris, her current residence since she had to go into exile in 2012.

"Heard in a 5 minute trial, Narges Mohammadi has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and more than 70 lashes and two years ban on telecommunications," Rahmani posted. In addition, Mohammadi's husband has complained that the details of the trial and the new verdict are not entirely clear, as he did not communicate with the family. Nor have the Iranian authorities reported the conviction on official channels. "The harsh revenge against the citizen continues. Narges was banned from calling today, on a day when calling is a prisoner's right. Exile and pressure at an event in memory of a dead protester on the outskirts of Tehran," Rahmani announced on Sunday. 

La destacada activista de derechos humanos iraní Narges Mohammadi asiste a una reunión sobre los derechos de las mujeres en Teherán, Irán AP/VAHID SALEMI
AP/VAHID SALEMI - Iranian Narges Mohammadi, delegate from the Centre for Human Rights Defenders

Amnesty International has launched a campaign calling on the Iranian authorities to urgently release the activist, saying she "is being held in prolonged solitary confinement in clear violation of the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment".

Activist Narges Mohamadi is the vice-president of the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran and has worked with the Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty campaign. Mohamadi spent several years in prison after being accused of acting against "national security" and "propaganda against the system". During her stay, from which she was released in 2020, she went on hunger strike because she considered her sentence to be unjust.

On 16 November 2021, she was arbitrarily detained in Karaj by Iranian Intelligence Ministry agents while participating in a memorial event for Ebrahim Ketabdar, a protester killed by Iranian security forces during protests that resulted in more than 300 deaths and thousands of arrests. In the months leading up to her latest arrest, the activist had been working with the families of those killed in the protests to seek justice.

On the occasion of her arrest, Amnesty International's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, said that Mohammadi "is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for her peaceful human rights activities". At the same time, she called on the Iranian authorities to drop her sentence, which she described as unjust, while calling for her protection from all forms of torture and other ill-treatment such as flogging. 

En esta foto de archivo tomada el 18 de septiembre de 2013, la abogada iraní Nasrin Sotoudeh sonríe en su casa de Teherán, tras ser liberada después de tres años de prisión AP/ARASH ASHOURINIA
AP/ARASH ASHOURINIA - In this file photo taken on 18 September 2013, Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh smiles at her home in Tehran after being released from three years in prison.

Mohamadi's situation is the same as that of other human rights defenders in Iran. Nasrin Soutudeh is another activist who is a victim of Iran's repression for defending Ebadi, the human rights and democracy activist lawyer. Soutudeh was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for "crimes of espionage, spreading propaganda, contempt and inciting corruption and prostitution", her defence revealed.

The human rights situation in Iran has been conditional since the triumph of the Iranian revolution in 1979, when the authorities severely restricted the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Security forces have throughout this time carried out an illegitimate use of force, arbitrarily detaining hundreds of people and imposing prison sentences and flogging. The authorities continue to commit crimes against humanity by concealing the whereabouts of thousands of dissidents of the Islamic regime. The European Union, the United Nations and several non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch denounce the alarming situation in Iran regarding freedom and respect for human rights.