Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Narges Mohammadi, Deputy Head of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders who is detained in Evin Prison, was transferred to the hospital early Monday morning following the deterioration of her health. On August 6th, prison authorities reportedly prevented her from seeing a neurologist.
Reza Khandan, husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh (also imprisoned in Evin), said in a note that during his last prison visit, Ms Sotoudeh had informed him of Ms Mohammadi’s critical physical condition and her urgent need to be transferred to the hospital. “Nasrin told me in a phone call that Narges Mohammadi suffered a seizure at 5:00 am and was sent to Imam Khomeini Hospital…” Mr Khandan said.
Narges Mohammadi was previously sent to the hospital on Saturday, June 30th and was returned to Evin prison on Thursday, July 5th after undergoing surgery.
According to Mahmoud Behzadirad, Ms Mohammadi’s lawyer, she suffers from bladder and gallbladder problems. “Six years and four months have passed since my client’s detention and there are around three years and eight months left on her sentence. However, despite the possibility of receiving the conditional release, her requests have not been approved so far,” said Mr Behzadirad.
In May 2016, a revolutionary court sentenced Narges Mohammadi to a 16-year prison term. The main accusation against her (making up 10 years of her sentence) was her cooperation to establish LEGAM, a campaign to abolish the death penalty. The court reportedly called her cooperation with the peaceful campaign as “creating a society aimed at undermining the security of the country”.
Ms Mohammadi stated that during her trial session, the judge was hostile and biased toward her and openly defended the allegations brought against her by Ministry of Intelligence officials. She said the judge accused her of attempting to change “divine laws” through her anti-death penalty activities. The other six years of Ms Mohammadi’s sentence are for the charges of “Gathering and colluding against national security” and “Propaganda against the regime”. The charges against Ms Mohammadi are based on media interviews she gave regarding human rights violations, her participation in peaceful gatherings to support families of prisoners on death row, her contact with other human rights defenders (including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi), her participation in peaceful protests to condemn acid attacks against women and her 2014 meeting with Catherine Ashton.
In September 2016, Branch 36 of the Tehran Appeals Court upheld Narges Mohammadi’s prison sentence. In May 2017, her request for a retrial was reportedly rejected by Iran’s Supreme Court.