Mother-of-two rights activist sentenced to 80 lashes and jail in Iran

Mother-of-two rights activist sentenced to 80 lashes and jail in Iran

05/28/2021

Mother-of-two rights activist is sentenced to 80 lashes and 30 months in jail in Iran for criticising the death penalty and accusing prison guards of torture

  • Narges Mohammadi, 49, was sentenced after being found guilty of ‘propaganda against the system’ for criticising Iran’s use of the death penalty
  • The Iranian journalist was also found guilty of ‘rebellion against the prison authority’ after she accused prison guards of torture and harassment 
  • Mohammadi was sentenced to 80 lashes, 30 months in prison and two fines

A prominent Iranian rights activist has been sentenced to 80 lashes and 30 months in prison after she criticised the death penalty and accusing prison officials of ‘torture and harassment’.

Narges Mohammadi, 49, a journalist, was handed the sentence after being found guilty of ‘propaganda against the system’ of the Islamic republic for condemning Iran’s use of capital punishment.

The mother-of-two was also found guilty of ‘rebellion against the prison authority’ after she accused prison guards of torture. 

Her lawyer, Mahmoud Behzadi-Rad, said that Mohammadi does not intend to appeal given the ‘circumstances’, without providing further details. 

Narges Mohammadi, 49, a journalist, was handed the sentence after being found guilty of ‘propaganda against the system’ of the Islamic republic for condemning Iran’s use of capital punishment

Meanwhile, the EU said the sentencing is ‘a worrying development’ and urged Iran to review Mohammadi’s case. 

Mohammadi, a campaigner against the death penalty, was arrested in May 2015 when she was spokeswoman for the Defenders of Human Rights Centre in Iran, which was founded by lawyer and Nobel Peace price laureate Shirin Ebadi. 

At that time, she was handed a 10-year prison sentence for ‘forming and managing an illegal group’, among other charges, but was released last year after her sentence was reduced. 

But on Tuesday it was reported by reformist newspaper Etemad that Mohammadi had been tried and found guilty of ‘propaganda against the system’ of the Islamic Republic, as well as ‘defemation’ and ‘rebellion against the prison authority’. 

She had been charged with having ‘issued a statement against the death penalty’, of having accused prison officials of ‘torture and harassment’, and of organising a sit-in protest while in prison. 

Mohammadi was sentenced to 80 lashes, another 30 months in prison and two fines. 

The mother-of-two was also found guilty of ‘rebellion against the prison authority’ after she accused prison guards of torture. Pictured: Mohammadi, centre, next to Iranian Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, left, while attending a meeting on women’s rights in Tehran, Iran in 2007

While serving her first prison sentence, Mohammadi was moved from Tehran’s Evin prison to a prison in Zanjan, in northwestern Iran, according to Reporters Without Borders.  

The journalist had ‘lodged a complaint against her immoral and illegal transfer,’ her lawyer said. 

She had also claimed she was ‘beaten and harassed’ in Evin Prison, reports Etemad newspaper. 

‘Instead of examining her complaint, justice officials opened another case against my client,’ Mr Behzadi-Rad said. 

‘Mohammadi has devoted her life to the cause of himan rights,’ an EU spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the sentencing is ‘a worrying development’. 

‘The EU calls on Iran to review Mrs Mohammadi’s case in compliance with the applicable international human rights law, and taking into account her deteriorating health condition.’

In 2019, a prominent Iranian lawyer was jailed for 38 years and sentenced to 148 lashes after she defended women who removed their headscarves in public.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran, was handed maximum sentence for all of her seven convictions.  

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran, was handed maximum sentence for all of her seven convictions in 2019

She represented protesters against the Islamic Republic’s mandatory headscarves for women, many of whom filmed themselves taking off the garment and posing it on social media. 

Sotoudeh, who has represented opposition activists, was arrested in June 2018 and charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader, her lawyer said.

Iran, alongside other Middle Eastern countries Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, dominated a list of the world’s top executioners in 2020 with more than 400 executed, Amnesty International revealed last month. 

The four countries accounted for 88 per cent of the at least 483 people who were executed.  

Iran executed at least 246 people including three people who were under 18 when they committed the crime last year, Amnesty said.  

The watchdog added that the death penalty in Iran ‘was increasingly used as a weapon of political repression against dissidents, protesters and members of ethnic minority groups’.     

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