Thursday , 22 February 2024

Imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate Narges Mohammadi Needs Global Demands for Release

CHRI – “I will make my voice louder for the world to hear,” says Mohammadi

Suffering from Serious Health Issues, Authorities Ban Phone Calls, Visitations

December 8, 2023 – Governments worldwide, UN leaders, and human rights organizations should demand the immediate release of Iranian human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, who has been wrongfully imprisoned on fabricated charges and banned by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s government from personally attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, scheduled for December 10.

“On the day set for her to receive her Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Narges Mohammadi will be behind bars in Tehran’s Evin Prison, due to the Iranian government’s relentless attempts to silence her unwavering advocacy for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Iranians,” said CHRI Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi.

“Mohammadi is a thorn in the side of the Islamic Republic,” said Ghaemi. “As long as she languishes in prison, her pleas for the freedom of all political prisoners must not go unheard. Advocates for peace and human rights worldwide must persistently demand her immediate release.”

CHRI has endorsed a recent appeal initiated by PEN America and supported by a diverse coalition of civil society organization and activists urging her release. Her precarious health condition, prompting hunger strikes for medical attention, underscores the urgency of her immediate and unconditional release to access necessary medical treatment.

CHRI implores activists and organizations around the world to promote PEN’s joint letter, and launch more international appeals to create a chorus of calls for Mohammadi’s freedom.

Mohammadi’s Message Penetrates Beyond Prison Walls

Mohammadi, a prominent advocate for women’s and human rights in Iran, courageously endangered herself by persistently denouncing state repression, even from within prison walls. Her notable statements include support for the country’s “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement, which was met with violent state repression when it sparked months of protests after the killing in state custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini in September 2022.

“The history of my land is the tale of the struggles of freedom-seeking and tradition-breaking women, which has continued till the ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ movement of today,” said Mohammadi in an interview with actress and activist Angelina Jolie, which occurred briefly over the phone until abruptly blocked by prison authorities, and then through intermediaries.

Shortly after this conversation was published online, she faced intensified restrictions—her already limited access to communication was completely severed by prison authorities.

“I will make my voice louder for the world to hear,” she said in a message posted on her Instagram account, announcing the ban. “Despite increased pressure, harassment, and deprivation, you cannot force me into silence.”

Her unwavering courage in speaking out against torture, unlawful executions in Iran, sexual violence against women prisoners, and the Islamic Republic’s brutality towards peaceful protesters has made her a primary target of the Iranian authorities. They continue to impose multiple prison sentences on baseless charges against Mohammadi, now enduring her third imprisonment, with a cumulative sentence of over 10 years on charges such as “spreading propaganda against the state.”

Forced to spend most of the past 11 years in and out of prison on manufactured political charges, Mohammadi has been kept behind bars since May 2021, as a result of multiple prosecutions, on charges including “spreading propaganda against the state.”

The Islamic Republic authorities have initiated fresh cases against her in two branches of the state’s Revolutionary Court system: Branch 26 led by Judge Iman Afshari and Branch 29 led by Judge Amouzad.

“Mohammadi has sacrificed everything—her freedom, being with her family, and even her health due to the Iranian authorities’ refusal to allow adequate medical care to prisoners—to stand against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s tyranny,” said Ghaemi.

“Supporting Narges Mohammadi is standing in solidarity with all Iranians striving for a future free from political repression and state violence,” he added.