On 18 May 2016, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Ms Narges Mohammadi to 16 years imprisonment on several counts including for “membership in the [now banned] Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty” group, for ”taking part in assembly and collusion against national security” and “committing propaganda against the state”.
Narges Mohammadi is Deputy Director and Spokeswoman of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC). She was elected President of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Peace in Iran, a broad coalition against war and for the promotion of human rights. She has campaigned for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran, and was awarded the Per Anger Prize by the Swedish government for her human rights work in 2011.
Narges Mohammadi, who is currently imprisoned in Evin Prison, was arrested at her home by intelligence ministry officials on 5 May 2015. At the time of the arrest, intelligence ministry officials stated that Narges Mohammadi was being taken into custody in order to serve the remainder of the six-year prison sentence she had received on 22 April 2012, from which the human rights defender was released on bail on 31 July 2012 for medical reasons. Her sentence had originally been for 11-years’ imprisonment, based on charges including the spreading of propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran, supporting the families of political prisoners, membership of the DHRC and conspiring against national security.
On 3 May 2015, additional charges of “assembly and collusion against national security” and “propaganda against the state” were brought against her. They were based on her activities at the DHRC and her cooperation with the Nobel Laureate Ms Shirin Ebadi, on interviews she conducted with international media outlets, and on establishing the Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty group, which was considered by the authorities to be illegal and to be posing a risk to state security.
Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned by and strongly condemns the sentencing of Narges Mohammadi as it is solely related to her peaceful and legitimate work for the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran. We urge the authorities in Iran quash the conviction against the human rights defender and release her.