Defend the human rights defender! Take action for Narges Mohammadi!
In early May, Narges Mohammadi, a distinguished human rights defender who is well-known within Iran and beyond, was arrested at her home. Security forces took her to Tehran's Evin Prison. Behind bars her health is rapidly deteriorating, and she does not have access to specialised medical care. Doctors have said she is too ill to be in prison.
Narges Mohammadi is a prisoner of conscience. She has been held solely for the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
Narges was the spokesperson and executive chairperson of the Tehran-based NGO, Centre for Human Rights Defenders. It advocated for human rights reform and represented political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in legal proceedings pro bono. She is also the founder of Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty, a groupd campaigning against the death penalty in Iran.
Narges Mohammadi has earned various prizes in several countries for her legal work and activism.
But she wasn’t able to collect any: since 2009, she has been banned from travelling abroad.
Imprisoned for peaceful work
Narges Mohammadi has been in court several times for her peaceful human rights activities. She has been sentenced to consecutive prison terms on national security-related charges including 'spreading propaganda against the system' and 'gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security.'
During her last imprisonment in 2012, she suffered attacks of muscula paralysis accompanied by seizures and temporary loss of vision.
Earlier this month, Narges Mohammadi appeared before a Revolutionary Court in connection with a new case filed against her. She told Amnesty International that this on-going trial arises from her peaceful human rights activism. This includes: giving media interviews; her connections with other human rights activists, such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi; and her meeting with Catherine Ashton, the then EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in March 2014.
In 2012, the authorities granted Narges Mohammadi medical leave after thousands of people from the around the world took action for her. If enough of us raise our voices again we could have a positive impact on her situation now. Please join us in urging the Iranian authorities to release this renowned human rights defender immediately and unconditionally.
Please also prompt the officials to allow her regular visits from her family and her lawyers, and to ensure that she receives any medical care she may require.
Let the tweets fly
Sending a tweet to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei and to President Hassan Rouhani is an easy way to take action. Both leaders are such active Twitter-users! You can send the below suggested tweets, but feel free to edit them with your own words.
Let the letter be carried by pigeons
You can also write a letter to the to the Head of Judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani urging him to release Narges Mohammadi immediately. Alternatively, you can also send an email to the Head of the Council for Human Rights of the Judiciary, Mohammad Javad Larijani at firstname.lastname@example.org
We created a template letter that you can use or edit if you wish. Don’t be in doubt: your message does count! It will nicely add up with the thousands of letters sent by other activists.
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
The Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pastour Street (In front of 129 Jami Police Station)
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
I’m concerned about the situation of Narges Mohammadi, a renowned human rights defender who was arrested on 5 May for her peaceful human rights activism. I am concerned that her health is deteriorating in prison.
I urgently call upon you to release Narges Mohammadi immediately and unconditionally, as she has been held solely for the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
Pending her release, I also urge you to allow her regular visits from her family and lawyer and ensure that she receives the necessary medical care, including specialised care outside prison.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.