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International campaign for the release of Narges Mohammadi, Civil & Women’s Rights Activist

narges-mohamadiNarges Mohammadi, the civil and human rights activist in Iran, is a prisoner of conscience held in Evin prison, with thirty two other women.  Mrs Mohammadi, a mother of two, who has already served several prison sentences in the last decade, was re-tried recently and was sentenced to a further 16 years.

 Narges Mohammadi is the Vice President of the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran. The Centre and its leader, Shirin Ebadi issued an appeal some time ago, in which they called on “all individuals and organisations, who defend human rights and freedom of speech” to do all they can in an international solidarity campaign to bring about the release of Narges Mohammadi.  In her appeal published on 15th October, 2016, Shirin Ebadi, who is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, pointed out that the Iranian Judiciary and Security authorities have handed out a heavy sentence of 16 years in order “not only to silence human rights activists but also to show everyone how heavy the price of freedom of speech is in Iran”.

 On Human Rights Day, 10th December 2016, Narges Mohammadi wrote from her prison cell about the severe suppression of civil organisations in Iran, the tense situation in the region and the deadlocked military options, said:  “War and sanctions that target ordinary people threaten human rights, because they weaken civil society. The civil society in our country, Iran, is being suppressed violently, while activists continue their peaceful resistance. I am a small part of this civil society who has been sentenced to twenty-two years of imprisonment in the last five years – sixteen years of it mandatory. I am serving my sentence in Evin prison. Since 1992, I have been active in at least ten independent civil organisations, as a founder or member. Unfortunately they all have been banned or liquidated at some point during the continual wave of repression of civil society.”

 In her letter, Narges Mohammadi has called on progressive organisations worldwide “to investigate the condition of civil organisation and bodies in Iran, to support them and ask your government and international institutions to speak out about the repression of civil society in Iran, and the arrests and torture of its activists – and to demand that the Iranian government end its severe repression of civil society and abide by its own constitution”.

Recently, in a joint statement, forty-two university students’ organisations in Iran have demanded the unconditional release of Narges Mohammadi.

MaZanan 21.12.2016

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