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Iran sentences rights activist and journalist to 30 months jail and flogging.

Image Credit: AP

The Iranian government has sentenced Narges Mohammadi to 30 months jail and 80 lashes. The rights activist, journalist and mother of two was just released from jail last October, her lawyer said on Thursday. The activist is a campaigner against the death penalty and was a spokeswoman for the Defenders of Human Rights Centre in Iran until her arrest in May 2015.

The Iranian government arrested her on grounds of ‘propaganda against the system’, ‘defamation’ and ‘rebellion against the prison authority’. Back in May 2015, she was arrested for ‘forming and managing an illegal group’ according to Iranian authorities. She was released in October 2020 as her sentence was reduced.

According to the reformist newspaper Etemad, she was charged for accusing prison officials of torture and harassment, for being against the death penalty and for carrying out a sit-in protest while in prison. For an unknown reason, she was abruptly moved from Tehran’s Evin prison to a prison in Zanjan, in northwestern Iran. The journalist immediately lodged a complaint against her transfer to another prison. Unfortunately, the Iranian authorities opened another a case against her instead of examining the complaint according to her lawyer, Mahmoud Behzadi-Rad.

While in jail, the activist said that she was repeatedly abused, which is standard practice in Iran according to her.

It is a targeted practice. The interrogators are given special training to systematically break the morale of jailed women.

Narges Mohammadi

Reports from human rights organizations and testimonies from former prisoners revealed that female political prisoners tend to be raped by the Iranian intelligence forces, especially those on death row. It is believed that such abuse was rampant back in the notorious crackdown in the 1980s. The European Union voiced its concern for the deteriorating health of the activist and asked for a lenient sentence in light of her health.

The EU calls on Iran to review Mrs Mohammadi’s case in compliance with the applicable international human rights law, and taking into account her deteriorating health condition.

EU statement.

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