Date of birth :21 April 1972
Her name Persian : نرگس محمدی;
was born on April 21, 1972, in Zanjan,
a town about 170 miles northwest of Tehran
that has a history of progressive,
Read more about her
on April 22,
Mohammadi was arrested in Zanjan,
and then transferred to Evin Prison,
presumably to begin serving her sentence.
She has reportedly
been taken to Ward 209 of the prison.
Her husband described her arrest:
In 2002, the
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,
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.
, 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,
to struggle more actively
than ever before
for their rights
and the elimination of
At the university
After graduating from
high school in Zanjan
, she was admitted
Imam Khomeini University in Qazvin
with a major in applied physics.
she was one of the founders
of a student organization
Tashakkol Daaneshjooei Roshangaraan
(Illuminating Student Group —
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,
she was not allowed to take part in their climbs.
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
These were truly courageous acts
in the context of the era.
The revolutionary government
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,
were immensely popular at that time.
The government of
Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan
that compulsory veiling would be imposed,
but leading conservative figures
had already begun speaking
“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 was published by
Azam Alaei Taleghani,
Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Alaei Taleghani
progressive cleric ‘
Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh.
(The magazine was closed
by the judiciary in April 2000.)
Mohammadi wrote about
and issues important
to university students.
She wrote as well for several other reformist publications,
all of which were eventually closed
by the judiciary.
she married nationalist-religious journalist
and thinker Taghi Rahmani,
whom she had met at university.
They have five-year-old twins,
Ali and Kiana.
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
“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
as her deputy,
Soltani as spokesman
, and Hossein Shah Hosseini
, a member of the central committee
of the National Front,
Mohammadi has been represented
by prominent attorneys associated
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
she was prosecuted in a show trial
and sentenced to 11 years of incarceration.
An appeals court subsequently
reduced the sentence to six years.
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.
who was also active
in an NGO dedicated to clearing
all the mines remaining from the
was appointed as the Center’s secretary.
(Sobhani has been imprisoned
since January 15, 2009,
she is an adherent of the Baha’i faith,
which is not recognized by Islam.)
Other human rights defenders
Shirin Ebadi, Mohammad Seifzadeh,
was founded by five prominent attorneys,
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah,
and Mohammad Sharif.
(Seifzadeh and Soltani are
will be incarcerated soon,
after his “conviction”
and jail sentence were reaffirmed by
an appeals court.)
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.
, 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,
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.
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
a nationalist-religious figure herself
and daughter of Ezatollah Sahabi,
leader of the
who passed away last year.
At his funeral,
Haleh Sahabi suffered a heart attack
during a confrontation
with security agents and died as well.
In May 2016, she was sentenced in Tehran to
16 years imprisonment
for political crimes.
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:
who has been hailed internationally
for her work on behalf of human rights.
she was honored
Alexander Langer Award,
the Italian-German peace activist
she received the
Per Anger Prize,
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,
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
including the claim that she was
“trying to purchase some foreign currencies.”
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
They ultimately did not buy
, so they had to sell the bonds,
which is apparently
the basis of the bogus charge.
A letter to the judiaciry
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].
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?
and political repression in Iran.
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.
Ebadi, and others
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
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
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
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.”
and the slander of torture
and beatings by him.
According to the report,
new charges were filed against
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”
“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.
sent to the prison told
that the three cases were filed
in Tehran’s prosecutor’s office.
Following the sit-in,
Evin Prison officials threatened
Ms. Mohammadi and other
inmates with exile to another prison,
who eventually transferred her from
to Zanjan Prison on
Tuesday, January 23.
four other political prisoners in
Evin prison’s women’s ward,
announced on Saturday,
that she was on a 40-day sit-in in prison,
along with grieving families,
throughout the November protests.
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
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.
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.
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,
a book of political essays titled
The Strategy and the Tactics
In 2003, she joined
The Defenders of Human Rights Center
, headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate
she later became
the organization’s vice president.
she married to fellow pro-reform journalist
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,
Mohammadi remained to
continue her human rights work.
Mohammadi and Rahmani
have twin children
, Ali and Kiana.
In July 2011,
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.
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.
The sentence was protested by
which called it
“another sad example of the Iranian authorities’
attempts to silence brave human rights defenders
A prisoner of conscious
designated her a prisoner of conscience
and called for her immediate release.
an appeal on Mohammadi’s behalf
on the ninth anniversary of photographer’s
Zahra Kazemi death in Evin prison,
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,
former Canadian Attorney General
UK MP Denis MacShane,
Australian MP Michael Danby,
Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein,
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
but nobody spoke up two years ago,
when an innocent human being
by the name of
in the hands of his interrogator?”
Despite the act of
extreme violence against
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 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,”
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
and running the
illegal splinter group Legam”,
a human rights movement
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
in Tehran’s Evin prison
, to protest being denied access
to medical care
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
Rahmani says favorite topics
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
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.
Rahmani was imprisoned for three years
for his writings in an underground publication,
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
. But most newspapers remain reluctant
to publish his work.
Being denied of the right to publish and to be published
“Because of existing pressures,
do not publish our articles,”
“Generally, in countries like Iran,
newspapers do not have too
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
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,
two fellow journalists
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.
publicly criticized the
authorities for violating
“The most basic principles of law
keeping people in prison
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
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,
and human rights
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”
you don’t have to be
a human rights activist
in order to get arrested,
” she (Nargea) says.
“In our country,
are put in jail
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,
believes it is.
A Center for Defenders of Human Rights
rights activism in Iran is
not a line of work that shows quick results
as Mohammadi and Rahmani
have already brought
to Iranian society.
Speaking Truth to power
“Nowadays, the authorities are
trying to comply with human rights —
at least, they try to make it seem that way,”
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.
An advocate for women’s rights
Discrimination against women
Several religious leaders in
the city of Qom
a religious decree,
which says women
have equal rights
a woman’s evidence
is no longer equal
only to half of a man’s evidence.”
Mohammadi, for her part,
-Iran is moving forward,
Iranian society is moving toward
and better human rights
That there is “no going back.”
is rapidly moving toward
claiming its right to
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.”
copyright-2009 All rights reserved
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