Iran: Narges Mohammadi sentence a ‘devastating blow’ to human rights


An Iranian appeals court has confirmed a 16-year sentence for one of Iran’s most prominent women’s rights activists, The New York Times reports:

The activist, Narges Mohammadi, 44, a human rights lawyer, has been in and out of jail over the past 15 years and has had several confrontations with Iran’s hard-line dominated judiciary. Her arrest in 2015 and conviction a year later were severe blows to Iran’s small and embattled community of women’s rights activists, highlighting the severe pressures they face.

“She has committed no crime and has just been doing her job as a lawyer and citizen,” said Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer and prominent activist who spent two years in prison.

Mohammadi will only serve the sentence linked to the most important charge — in this case 10 years for “forming and managing an illegal group,” RFE/RL adds.

“Narges’s only crime is to be a human rights defender in a country that flouts these rights,” said 2003 Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, a co-founder of the Center for Human Rights Defenders (DHRC).

“Mohammadi does not deserve a day in prison,” the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said. “Instead she should be respected and praised for her humanitarian work and efforts to end injustice.”

For Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther, the verdict is “yet another cruel and devastating blow to human rights in Iran, which demonstrates the authorities’ utter contempt for justice.”

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