Narges Mohammadi

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Narges Mohammadi
Born (1972-04-21) April 21, 1972 (age 42)
Zanjan, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Occupation human rights activist
Organization Defenders of Human Rights Center
Spouse(s) Taghi Rahmani
Children two
Awards Alexander Langer Award (2009)

Narges Mohammadi (born 21 April 1972)[1] is an Iranian human rights activist and the vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.[2]

Background[edit]

Mohammadi was born in Zanjan, Iran. She attended Imam Khomeini International University, 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 Daaneshjooei Roshangaraan ("Illuminating Student Group").[1][3] She was also active in a mountain climbing group, but due to her political activities, was later banned from joining climbs.[1]

She 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.[3] In 2003, she joined the Defenders of Human Rights Center, headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi;[1] she later became the organization's vice president.[2]

In 1999, she married to fellow pro-reform journalist Taghi Rahmani, who not long after was arrested for the first time.[1][3] 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.[2] Mohammadi and Rahmani have twin children, Ali and Kiana.[1][2]

Legal issues[edit]

Mohammadi was first arrested in 1998 for her criticisms of the Iranian government and spent a year in prison.[3] 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.[1][4] 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.[4]

In July 2011, Mohammadi was prosecuted again,[1] and found guilty of "acting against the national security, membership of the DHRC and propaganda against the regime".[4] 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".[4] In March 2012, the sentence was upheld by an appeals court, though it was reduced to six years.[5] On 26 April, she was arrested to begin her sentence.[2]

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".[4] Amnesty International designated her a prisoner of conscience and called for her immediate release.[6] 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".[7] 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.[8]

On July 31, 2012, Mohammadi has been released from prison.[9]

Recognition[edit]

In 2009, Mohammadi received the Alexander Langer Award, named for peace activist Alexander Langer. The award carried a 10,000 euro honorarium.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Muhammad Sahimi (10 May 2012). "Nationalist, Religious, and Resolute: Narges Mohammadi". PBS. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Saeed Kamali Dehghan (26 April 2012). "Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi arrested". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Narges Mohammadi, from Iran, recepient(sic) of the international Alexander Langer award 2009". Alexander Langer Foundation. 18 June 2009. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Saeed Kamali Dehghan (28 September 2011). "Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi jailed for 11 years". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Saeed Kamali Dehghan (7 March 2012). "Iran steps up crackdown on journalists and activists". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Urgent Action: human rights Defender imprisoned". Amnesty International. 30 April 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Lives of several imprisoned journalists and netizens in danger". Reporters Without Borders. 10 July 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "International Lawmakers Call on Iran to Release Narges Mohammadi". kirk.senate.gov. 26 July 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  9. ^ http://www.fidh.org/Iran-List-of-human-rights-12235