Narges Mohammadi Released on 3-Day Furlough

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Deputy of the Defenders of Human Rights Center Narges Mohammadi was released on a three-day furlough on September 26, 2018. Reporting the news of her furlough to HRANA, Mohammadi’s spouse Taghi Rahmani shared that Mohammadi will need long-term medical furlough to get adequate care for her illness.

Prior to Mohammadi’s furlough release, her mother Ozra Bazargan wrote to the Prosecutor of Tehran with the request that her daughter is granted a furlough to visit her ailing father. From June 30th – July 5th of this year, Mohammadi was released from prison to get back surgery at an outside hospital. On August 6th, prison authorities prevented Mohammadi from being transferred out of Evin Prison to see a neurologist, only to approve her transfer to Imam Khomeini Hospital when she fell into critical condition one week later.

Mohammadi’s attorney Mohamoud Behzadirad previously commented on the status of his client’s case file, stating “it has been six years and four months since my client was detained, and around three years and eight months remain of her sentence. She is eligible for conditional release, but the request for that release has yet to be approved.”

In May 2016, Narges Mohammadi was sentenced by the Revolutionary Court of Tehran to sixteen years of imprisonment, ten years of which was for her role in the Step-by-Step Campaign to Abolish Death Penalty in Iran (LAGAM). The court considered her collaboration with this peaceful campaign to be an example of “gathering with intent to disrupt national security.”

According to Narges Mohammadi, her trial judge treated her with bias and hostility, openly defending the charges levied against her by officials from the Ministry of Intelligence and accusing her of trying to “warp divine law” for her demonstrations of dissent against capital punishment.

The additional six years of Narges Mohammadi’s imprisonment were issued in connection to her peaceful human rights activism, which translated in court to charges of “gathering and conspiring against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.” Her offenses included giving media interviews about human rights violations, her participation in peaceful gatherings to support the 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 Autumn of 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.

Nasrin Sotoudeh Starts Hunger Strike in Evin Prison

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Nasrin Sotoudeh, prominent lawyer and human rights activist, who has been detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison since June 13th, started a hunger strike on Saturday, August 25th.

Sotoudeh has published an open letter to declare her hunger strike. The arrest and harassment of her family members and friends is the reason behind her protest, she says in the letter.

Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, published a note to confirm his wife’s hunger strike.

The full text of Nasrin Sotoudeh’s letter, translated by HRANA:

My fellow Iranians,

After I was arrested two months ago, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence undertook the unlawful action of arresting the esteemed citizen, Dr Farhad Meysami. They searched his house and that of his relatives and friends to discover evidence of protest against mandatory veiling.

After they failed to find anything in the house of my husband’s sister, they confiscated a satellite device [instead].

Since none of my correspondences to the authorities has been so far responded to, I have no choice but to embark on a hunger strike to protest against the arrests and judicial pressures brought upon my family, relatives and friends.

In the hope that law and justice will one day prevail in our beloved country, Iran.

Nasrin Sotoudeh
August 2018

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Nasrin Sotoudeh had recently refused to appear in court, despite a summons order issued by the authorities. She wrote an open letter to explain why.

According to a report published by HRANA on August 18th, Reza Khandan’s house and the house of other relatives and friends of the family were raided by the authorities.

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<h3> UPDATE: </h3> Nasrin Sotoudeh ended her hunger strike on October 3, 2018, her lawyer Mohammad Moghimi told HRANA.