CHRI – Prominent Rights Defender Has Lost 16 Pounds in Short Time Span
The husband of prominent Iranian political prisoner Narges Mohammadi has called on Iran’s judiciary to release his ailing wife after she was rushed to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran on August 13, 2018.
“Narges should be free but under the current circumstances, at the very least, she should be allowed to go home so that her illness can be controlled without any stress,” Taghi Rahmani told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) shortly after Mohammadi was hospitalized.
“They finally transferred her to the hospital after she suffered pain and discomfort for weeks, but we don’t know what’s going to happen,” he added.
In a statement on August 13, the Defenders of Human Rights Center, where Mohammadi worked before she was arrested, said she has lost more than 16 pounds in recent weeks and “doctors found a growth in her stomach” but had not been given a chance to do further tests.
Mohammadi, 46, has been repeatedly hospitalized since being imprisoned in May 2015. She suffers from a neurological disorder that causes muscular paralysis.
She is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence, with eligibility for parole after 11 years, for being a vocal advocate of human and women’s rights in Iran.
Speaking to CHRI from France, where he lives with their two children, Rahmani said, “I’m very worried for Narges. What will probably happen is that the doctors will increase her drug dosage and then she will be returned to prison. That will be very dangerous for her health.”
Mohammadi, was previously released from prison in 2013 for medical reasons after serving almost three years of a six-year prison sentence for the charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center” and “propaganda against the state.”
The prominent human rights activist was arrested again in May 2015, two weeks after meeting with Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief at the time, at the Austrian Embassy in Tehran.
In September 2016, Branch 26 of the Tehran Appeals Court upheld a 16-year prison sentence against Mohammadi for the charges of, “membership in the [now banned] Defenders of Human Rights Center,” “assembly and collusion against national security,” and one year for “propaganda against the state.”
She will be eligible for release after serving 10 years of that sentence.