Free Narges Mohammadi

Date of birth :21 April 1972

Her name Persian : نرگس محمدی‎;

Narges Mohammadi

was born on April 21, 1972, in Zanjan,

a town about 170 miles northwest of Tehran

that has a history of progressive,

left-leaning politics.


Read more about her

:Profile | Nationalist, Religious, and Resolute: Narges Mohammadi

Imprisoned for no offense other than defending her fellow Iranians’ human rights.


on April 22,

Mohammadi was arrested in Zanjan,

and then transferred to Evin Prison,

presumably to begin serving her sentence.


Center for the Defenders of Human Rights

She has reportedly

been taken to Ward 209 of the prison.

Her husband described her arrest:


In 2002, the

Center for the Defenders of Human Rights

The right to dress as they chose way

not the only right that

was gradually taken away

from Iranian women:

the family protection laws

that had been passed during the Pahlavi era,

which had significantly expanded women’s rights,

were cancelled;

women were barred

from holding judgeships

and several other important positions;

and the legal age of marriage

for girls was reduced to nine

(in the 1990s, it was raised to 13).


The backward thinking

which held that

women should stay at home

to be mothers and wives

underwent a revival.


These developments

, together with the political repression

and the gross violations of

the rights of not just women,

but practically every Iranian citizen

by the Islamic Republic,

motivated women

to struggle more actively

than ever before

for their rights

and the elimination of

sexual discrimination.


At the university

After graduating from

high school in Zanjan

, she was admitted

to the

Imam Khomeini University in Qazvin

with a major in applied physics.

There,

she was one of the founders

of a student organization

called

Tashakkol Daaneshjooei Roshangaraan

(Illuminating Student Group —

that is,

a group that sheds light on complex issues).

She also played an active role in

a student group

whose goal was to

climb the tallest mountains in Iran;

due to her political activities,

however,

she was not allowed to take part in their climbs.


Narges Mohamadi

She was arrested twice during

her years at the university.


Thus, on March 8, 1979,

International Women’s Day,

less than one month after

the revolutionary government

had come to power,

the first demonstrations by women

against the prospect of compulsory veiling

were held.


These were truly courageous acts

in the context of the era.

The revolutionary government

and

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,

in particular,

were immensely popular at that time.


The government of

Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan

(1907-95) denied

that compulsory veiling would be imposed,

but leading conservative figures

had already begun speaking

about the

“necessity” of women “covering” themselves.


Mohammadi‘s early career

began her career as

a journalist writing

for Payaam-e Haajar,

a magazine dedicated to women’s issues.


The periodical

The periodical was published by

Azam Alaei Taleghani,

daughter of

Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Alaei Taleghani

(1911-79),

the popular,

progressive cleric ‘

and ardent

supporter of

Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh.

(The magazine was closed

by the judiciary in April 2000.)


Her writing

Mohammadi wrote about

human rights,

women’s rights,

and issues important

to university students.

She wrote as well for several other reformist publications,

all of which were eventually closed

by the judiciary.


Her marriage

In 1999,

she married nationalist-religious journalist

and thinker Taghi Rahmani,

whom she had met at university.

They have five-year-old twins,

Ali and Kiana.


Her speech

In a speech titled

“No to War,

Yes to Peace and Human Rights”

that Ebadi delivered

at the Center

on November 19, 2007

, at the height of the

Bush administration’s threats

to attack Iran,

proposed the founding of

a National Council for Peace to

convey the message to the world

that the

“Iranian people are peaceful,

as history has demonstrated;

they have had war and revolution

and are tired of both.”


The Council was formally established on

July 4, 2008

with a membership of 72 well-known figures,

later expanded to 83.

Mohammadi was elected

as the group’s president,

with reformist journalist

Isa Saharkhiz

as her deputy,

Soltani as spokesman

, and Hossein Shah Hosseini

, a member of the central committee

of the National Front,

as treasurer.


Mohammadi has been represented

by prominent attorneys associated

with the

Center for the Defenders of Human Rights,

most of whom have themselves been arrested.

She is currently represented

by Center cofounder Mohammad Sharif.

A show trial in July


Last July,

she was prosecuted in a show trial

and sentenced to 11 years of incarceration.


An appeals court subsequently

reduced the sentence to six years.

Mohammadi,

who was elected as

Ebadi’s deputy and head of the

Center’s committee on women’s rights,

often represented Ebadi

and the Center at international conferences.

Sobhani,

who was also active

in an NGO dedicated to clearing

all the mines remaining from the

Iran-Iraq War,

was appointed as the Center’s secretary.

(Sobhani has been imprisoned

since January 15, 2009,

presumably because

she is an adherent of the Baha’i faith,

which is not recognized by Islam.)


Other human rights defenders

Shirin Ebadi, Mohammad Seifzadeh,

Abdolfattah Soltani,

was founded by five prominent attorneys,

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah,

and Mohammad Sharif.

(Seifzadeh and Soltani are

currently imprisoned,

and Dadkhah

will be incarcerated soon,

after his “conviction”

and jail sentence were reaffirmed by

an appeals court.)


When Ebadi,

who headed the Center,

was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2003,

it received more recognition.

Mohammadi and another female activist,

Zhinous Sobhani, joined the Center.


Rahmani

, who spent a total of 14 years

in the Islamic Republic’s prisons,

recently left Iran for exile in France.

He said that

when he asked his wife to go with him,

Mohammadi refused,

because she wanted

to continue her efforts

on behalf of human rights in Iran.


Rahmani has said that

his wife’s work on

behalf of human rights began when

he was first arrested as her husband.


Rahmani,

together with a large number of

other nationalist-religious figures,

was arrested on March 9, 2001,

in a raid

by agents of the

Ministry of Intelligence

on a gathering

at the home of

Mohammad Basteh Negar

, Azam Taleghani’s husband.


Islam and human rights

Rahmani was incarcerated for over a year;

after posting bail,

he was released on April 17, 2002.

Arrested again on June 15, 2003,

this time ,he was incarcerated for 22 months.

Rahmani has also said

that after their twin children were born,

both he was wife

became even more aware

of the significance of

respect for human rights.


By his account,

Mohammadi was influenced by

Haleh Sahabi,

a nationalist-religious figure herself

and daughter of Ezatollah Sahabi,

leader of the

Nationalist-Religious Coalition,

who passed away last year.

At his funeral,

Haleh Sahabi suffered a heart attack

during a confrontation

with security agents and died as well.


Political crimes

In May 2016, she was sentenced in Tehran to

16 years imprisonment

for political crimes.[4]

The focus of the present article

is one courageous woman

who has been at the

forefront of the struggle

for respect for

human rights and

the rule of law in Iran

since the mid-1990s:

Narges Mohammadi,

who has been hailed internationally

for her work on behalf of human rights.


In 2009,

she was honored

with the

Alexander Langer Award,

named after

the Italian-German peace activist

and journalist.

Last year,

she received the

Per Anger Prize,

named after

the famous Swedish diplomat who

played a major role in

rescuing Hungarian Jews from arrest

and murder by the Nazis.


I have already profiled

the lives of other such lionesses,

including attorney

Nasrin Sotoudeh,

Shiva Nazar Ahari,

and several university activists.

Throughout Iran’s history,

going back several millennia,

women have always played influential roles.


I have previously described women’s crucial contributions

during the 150 years preceding the 1979 Revolution

to the Iranian people’s struggle to establish

a democratic political system and the true rule of law.

Despite the promise the Revolution held out of

a democratic political system,

it did not take long for the reactionary Islamic groups

to reveal what type of

society they actually envisioned for Iran.


Rumors began to spread that compulsory veiling

would be imposed on women

by the new revolutionary government.

As sporadic attacks on

women who were not wearing Islamic hejab began,


It gradually became clear that

many of the revolutionary leadership’s promises

regarding women’s rights would not be delivered.


Apparently there was a man and a woman,

and they asked Narges to go with them,

but Narges asked to see their identification cards,

which they refused to present.

They struggled for a half an hour until at 12:00 p.m.

she went with them.

The reason she went with them

was that the forces wanted to enter the house,

and she agreed to go with them

because she didn’t want the children to be frightened.


At 5:00 p.m.,

Narges’ parents went

to [the] Zanjan Intelligence Office

and were told by official

that she had been transferred to Tehran.

Since then we have no more news on her,

except for what prisoner families told us.

I do not know how to

write of the suffering and pain

inflicted upon my young family.

When I first entered prison

I was a healthy individual,

but when I left the prison

I was frail and overtaken by a disease for

which I cannot find a remedy or a cure.

Physicians and specialists have examined me

but no one can figure out what is wrong with me.

I have repeatedly asked for my passport

so that I can travel outside the country

in hopes of finding the right care,

but my pleas fall on deaf ears.


I have two four-year-old children

who need me,

but how can I care for them?

My young children have been left

with painful memories,

memories and visions that affect them at nights,

in their dreams.

I remember one night my children could not fall sleep,

they were both speaking in their dreams.

The judiciary has made bogus accusations

against her

including the claim that she was

“trying to purchase some foreign currencies.”


The currency

According to Rahmani,

he and Mohammadi wanted

to buy an apartment,

for which they needed

to take out a small bank loan.

But they could do that only

if they first purchased some

government-issued bonds.

They ultimately did not buy

the apartment

, so they had to sell the bonds,

which is apparently

the basis of the bogus charge.


A letter to the judiaciry

Last year,

Mohammadi wrote

a letter to the judiciary

in which she said,

Earlier that night

they had witnessed the security officers

come to our home and scream obscenities

and indignities on Taghi [Rahmani].

I remember

little Ali was walking around the house

and muttered to himself, “

Get out of my house..

.. Leave my father alone.”

After they finally took Taghi,

my little girl, Kiana,

spread out on the

cold mosaic tiles of the foyer and

as tears streamed down her face,

she asked for her father.

I was helpless and like a stone statue gazed

at my four-year-old daughter,

not knowing what to do.

I am a human being, a mother, a wife.

How much more of this pain and suffering

must I go through?



Written by Farangis Najibullah who is a senior correspondent for
RFE/RL who focuses on Central Asia.

and political repression in Iran.


Narges Mohammadi,

Taghi Rahmani,

and hundreds of others

who have been incarcerated

have committed no offense other

than to defend human dignity

and the basic rights of the Iranian people.

Crucially, Mohammadi,

Ebadi, and others

at the

Center for the Defenders of Human Rights

have always said that

There is no conflict between true Islam

and respect for human rights.

Regardless of the merit

of such a proclamation,

the ruling hardliners find

it far more dangerous

than the statements of those

who maintain that the two cannot coexist.

It is due to their steadfast belief

in the compatibility

of Islam and human rights

that the Center’s members,

as well as the nationalist-religious activists,

have always been subjected

to the most severe pressure.


By -Saeed Kamali Dehghan

and was previously Iran correspondent for 10 year

is a Guardian staff journalist,


Copyright © 2012 Tehran Bureau

written by Muhammad Sahimi,

a professor at the University of Southern California,

who is a columnist for Tehran Bureau and contributes regularly

to other Internet and print media.


 Two new cases filed and

charges against Narges Mohammadi

in Zanjan prison

written by :Saeed Kamali Dehghan

who is a spokesman and deputy head of the Human Rights Center, 


was charged with opening two new cases

while serving a six-year sentence in Zanjan Prison.  



 and the second is the complaint of

Gholamreza Ziai,

the head of Evin Prison,

for what he called

“libelous torture and beatings by him”

, as well as charges.  

“Disrupting prison order through

the singing of a loud song”

has been opened.

the vice-president and

spokesman for the

Human Rights Center,

has faced new charges and charges

, according to the

The first is related to the

“Dissemination

of political statements,


the formation of training classes

and the sit-in protest in

Evin Women’s Prison”,

 The second case was also filed

with the complaint of

Gholamreza Ziaei,

the head of Evin Prison,

and Ms. Mohammadi for

“disturbing the order

of the prison and

disturbing the general comfort

of the women’s ward by

holding assemblies and meetings

and singing loud hymns”

as well as

“insulting government officials.” 

Including Ziai

and the slander of torture

and beatings by him.

 According to the report,

new charges were filed against


Her sentence

Ms. Mohammadi in the presence of five

interrogators at Zanjan Branch 4,

along with the head

and deputy head of the Women’s Protection Division

and the head of the women’s ward,

on Saturday, March 23. 


This allegation was made without charge

to the public prosecutor and to the legal process,

and in the women’s ward.


Transfer to Zanjan prison

 Following her transfer to Zanjan Prison,

Ms. Mohammadi wrote

in a letter describing the events


And behavior of the Evin Prison chief

and security forces

during her transfer

, describing it as


“A day of naked violence against security men

and prison against me.”


 According to the report in the first case

, Ms. Mohammadi was charged with

“propaganda against the system”

and

“gathering and colluding

to act against national security.” 

The publication of political statements,

the formation of training classes

and a sit-in protest against women’s rights

have been among the prosecution’s

citations for the case.


 An interrogator

sent to the prison told

Narges Mohammadi

that the three cases were filed

in Tehran’s prosecutor’s office.

 Following the sit-in,


Evin prison

Evin Prison officials threatened

Ms. Mohammadi and other

inmates with exile to another prison,

who eventually transferred her from

Evin Prison

to Zanjan Prison on

Tuesday, January 23.

 Ms. Mohammadi,

along with

four other political prisoners in

Evin prison’s women’s ward,

announced on Saturday,

December 7,

that she was on a 40-day sit-in in prison,

along with grieving families,

throughout the November protests.


 Narges Mohammadi,

who has been in prison since April 1,

has been sentenced to three years in prison on three charges. 

Five years for “community and collusion against the regime”,

one year for “propaganda against the system”,


Narges Mohammadi must serve a term

of imprisonment of five years.

and cooperation of the Logam Association,

and ten years for the establishment

a community for the abolition of the death penalty,

a demand not tolerated by the Iranian government. 

According to Article 5 of the Islamic Penal Code

and with the view of

“severe punishment”,

Iranian of Human Rights Center
National Council for PeaceSpouse(s)


Mohammadi was born in Zanjan, Iran.

She attended Imam Khomeini International University,

Mohammadi was first arrested in 1998

for her criticisms of the Iranian government

and spent a year in prison.[5] 


In April 2010,

she was summoned

to the Islamic Revolutionary Court

 for her membership in the DHRC.

She was briefly released on US$50,000

bail but re-arrested several days later

and detained at Evin prison.

Mohammadi’s health declined

while in custody,

and she developed

an epilepsy-like disease causing her to

periodically lose muscle control

. After a month,

she was released and

allowed to go to the hospital.[6]

receiving a degree in physics,

and became a professional engineer


. During her university career,

she wrote articles supporting women’s rights

in the student newspaper

and was arrested at

two meetings of the political student group

Tashakkol Daaneshjuyi Roshangaraan

(“Illuminating Student Group”)

She was also active in a mountain climbing group,

but due to her political activities,

was later banned from joining climbs

Read more about Narges’s

Early life and career

Narges went on to work as a journalist

for several reformist newspapers,

and published

a book of political essays titled 

The reforms,

The Strategy and the Tactics


 In 2003, she joined

The Defenders of Human Rights Center

, headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate 

Shirin Ebadi;

 she later became

the organization’s vice president.
In 1999,


she married to fellow pro-reform journalist 

Taghi Rahmani,

who not long after was arrested for the first time.

 Rahmani moved to France in 2012

after serving a total of

fourteen years of prison sentences,

but

Mohammadi remained to

continue her human rights work.



Mohammadi and Rahmani

have twin children

, Ali and Kiana.


In July 2011,

Mohammadi

was prosecuted again,

she was found guilty of

“Acting against the national security,

membership of the DHRC

and propaganda against the regime”.

In September she was sentenced

to 11 years’ imprisonment.


The Verdict

Mohammadi stated that she had learned

of the verdict only

through her lawyers and had been

“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 2012,

the sentence was upheld by an appeals court

, though it was reduced to six years.

On 26 April,

she was arrested to begin her sentence.[3]

The sentence was protested by

the British Foreign Office,

which called it

“another sad example of the Iranian authorities’

attempts to silence brave human rights defenders

A prisoner of conscious


” Amnesty International 

designated her a prisoner of conscience 

and called for her immediate release.

[8] Reporters Without Borders issued

an appeal on Mohammadi’s behalf

on the ninth anniversary of photographer’s

 Zahra Kazemi death in Evin prison,

stating that

Mohammadi was a prisoner

whose life was “in particular danger”.


International effort to release Narges

In July 2012,

an international group of lawmakers

called for her release,

including US Senator Mark Kirk,

former Canadian Attorney General 

Irwin Cotler,

UK MP Denis MacShane,

Australian MP Michael Danby,

Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein,

and

Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris.

On July 31, 2012

, Mohammadi was released from prison


About the death of the blogger Sattar Beheshti

On 31 October 2014,

Mohammadi made a moving speech

at the gravesite of Sattar Beheshti, stating,

“How is it that the Parliament Members are suggesting

Plan for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,

but nobody spoke up two years ago,

when an innocent human being

by the name of

Iranian blogger satar Beheshti who died under torture

Sattar Beheshti

died

under torture

in the hands of his interrogator?”

Despite the act of

extreme violence against

Beheshti,

which was met with

an international uproar

back in 2012,

his case still raises questions

and Evin prison

still witnesses torture

and unfair arrests of

human rights defenders today.


The video

The video of Mohammadi’s

31 October speech quickly went viral

on social media networks resulting

in her being summoned to Evin Prison Court

. She was punished for posting it.


“In the summons

I received on 5 November 2014,

it is stated that I must turn myself in ‘for charges,’

but there is no further explanation about these charges,”

she stated.[12]


Another arrest, on the ground of new charges

On May 5, 2015,

Ms. Mohammadi was again arrested

on the basis of new charges.


In May 2016,

a revolutionary court in Tehran

found Ms. Mohammadi guilty of

“Establishing

and running the

illegal splinter group Legam”,

a human rights movement

that campaigns

for the abolition of the death penalty.

She received a sentence of 16 years in prison

In January 2019

Ms. Mohammadi was reported

to have begun

a hunger strike,

along with the

detained British-Iranian citizen 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,

in Tehran’s Evin prison

, to protest being denied access

to medical care

husband.


About t. Rahmani- her husband

Rahmani used to teach evening classes

where participants –

– including students, journalists,

and teachers —

would discuss politics

, human rights,

and the role of religion

in society.

Rahmani says favorite topics

included

Islam and human rights,

Islam and democracy,

and Islam and civil society.


Mohammadi soon swapped her favorite hobby,

mountain climbing, for a new one

— politics and human rights.

In Iran, it was to prove

a high mountain to climb.


She became known as a key activist at university

and soon followed in Rahmani’s footsteps

by writing articles in independent new

spapers

criticizing the human rights

situation in the country.


It was the late 1990s

, a favorable time

for independent publications

increasing in number under

reformist President Mohammad Khatami.

By the time he met Narges,

Rahmani had already served

two prison terms –

– 11 years in total —

for expressing his political views

through books and articles.

In 1981,

Rahmani was imprisoned for three years

for his writings in an underground publication,

“Pishtaz.”


Five years later he was arrested again,

and sentenced to eight years in prison

for his writing on religion and politics.

Rahmani resumed his work as a writer and

journalist following his latest release

from prison

. But most newspapers remain reluctant

to publish his work.


Being denied of the right to publish and to be published

“Because of existing pressures,

newspapers nowadays

do not publish our articles,”

Rahmani says.

“Generally, in countries like Iran,

newspapers do not have too

much freedom.

They cannot publish

whatever they want.

There are certain conditions

that usually create problems

and restrictions for newspapers.”


Work in journalism

Both husband and wife have worked

for reformist newspapers and magazine

including

“Iran-e Farda”

(Tomorrow’s Iran,)

a reformist publication that

has subsequently been banned.


A Marriage Made In Prison

The couple got married in 2001,

only to be separated soon afterward

when Rahmani was again sentenced

to two separate jail terms

between 2001 and 2005.


Arrested without being charged

In one case,

Rahmani and

two fellow journalists

were arrested

on the orders of

Tehran’s chief prosecutor

. They spent almost two years

under arbitrary detention

without being charged.


The plight of political prisoners in Iran.

helped turn Mohammadi’s attention

Her husband’s numerous arrests

to the plight of political prisoners in Iran.

She began campaigning

against the practice

of putting people behind bars

for merely expressing their opinion.

Mohammadi has

publicly criticized the

authorities for violating


“The most basic principles of law

keeping people in prison

illegally,

without charge,

sentence, and trial.”

She says defense lawyer

s in many cases

can’t even get access

to their imprisoned clients’ files.


For such criticism

, Mohammadi has twice been imprisoned.

With firsthand experience of life behind bars,


At The Center for Defenders of Human Rights,

Mohammadi now tries

to assist jailed dissidents

and their families.


she provides lawyers for political prisoners

who cannot afford to pay for their defense.

The center also offers legal advice

and counseling

for dissidents’ family members

when it is necessary.

Mohamahamdi’s intreview with RFEL

Mohammadi tells RFE/RL

that the center’s members want

to raise people’s awareness

of their social,

political,

and human rights

through media,

meetings,

and discussions.

They also publish regular reports

on human rights to attract domestic

and international attention to the issue.


There is no such a thing as freedom of speech in Iran”

“In Iran,

you don’t have to be

a human rights activist

in order to get arrested,

” she (Nargea) says.

“In our country,

many teachers

and workers

are put in jail

merely for

asking the government

to increase their wages.

The Students are put behind bars for

wanting their own publications.


The Iranian government

does not tolerate any criticism.”

But is the sacrifice

of Mohammadi and

other Iranian rights defenders,

scores of whom have been jailed

in recent weeks,

paying off?

Abdulfattah Sultani

believes it is.


Human Rights Defender Narges Mohammadi Vows to Defy 80 Lashes and 30 Months Sentence

A Center for Defenders of Human Rights

founding member,

Sultani says:

rights activism in Iran is

not a line of work that shows quick results


פירוש השם נארגס הוא נרקיס בפרסית

Activists such

as Mohammadi and Rahmani

have already brought

positive change

to Iranian society.

נארגס מוחמדי פעילת זכויות אדם- פעילים כמותה כבר מביאים לשינוי חברתי באיראן

Speaking Truth to power

“Nowadays, the authorities are

trying to comply with human rights —

at least, they try to make it seem that way,”

Sultani says.

Narges Mohamadi from Human rights watch iranian human rights activist, Narges Mohammadi, at the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Tehran, June 25, 2007.  © 2007 AFP/Getty Images

Patriarchic law should be abolished

“They are trying to improve prison conditions.

With regard to women’s issues,

society has gradually accepted

the fact that

patriarchic laws should be abolished.


Shameful 16-year-sentence for Narges Mohammadi is a devastating blow to human rights in iran

An advocate for women’s rights


Discrimination against women

Several religious leaders in

the city of Qom

recently issued

a religious decree,

which says women

have equal rights

to compensation,

and that

a woman’s evidence

is no longer equal

only to half of a man’s evidence.”

Mohammadi, for her part,

says


Her belief

-Iran is moving forward,

towards democracy

Iranian society is moving toward

democratic changes

and better human rights

conditions.

She believes:

That there is “no going back.”


“Iranian society

is rapidly moving toward

claiming its right to

democracy,”

she says.


“Students, workers,

teachers,

women,

and young people –

these different groups

have serious claims

, and the government

has to answer them.


The government has to give them

a satisfying response.

It’s not a question

of a handful of people

– it is about an entire nation.”


New Prison Sentence for Rights Defender

Iran: Shameful 16-year-sentence for
Narges Mohammadi
is a devastating blow to human rights

HARANA AGENCY

 copyright-2009 All rights reserved

כל הזכויות שמורות לוקט ותורגם מאנגלית

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