IRAN: The Observatory strongly condemns arbitrary arrest of Ms. Nargess Mohammadi


 Paris-Geneva, May 5, 2015. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), strongly condemns today’s arrestof human rights defender Ms. Nargess Mohammadi in Iran.

 Ms. Nargess Mohammadi, Spokesperson and Vice-President of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), was arrested in the early morning of May 5, 2015, when state security agents showed up at her home and threatened to break in. Upon her arrest, the agents claimed that she was being taken “to serve her prison sentence”. The Observatory recalls that Ms. Mohammadi started to serve a 6-year prison sentence on April 21, 2012[1], but that she was released on bail on July 31, 2012 for medical reasons. 

 On May 3, 2015, Ms. Mohammadi attended the first hearing of her trial at Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolution Court. After the prosecutor read out the indictment against her, the trial was rescheduled for a later date to allow her lawyers to read the file the prosecution had built against her. After the hearing, Ms. Mohammadi reported that this indictment contained three main charges against her:

 –        “assembly and collusion against the national security” based on her activities in the DHRC and cooperation with “the [Nobel Laureate] Shirin Ebadi, counter-revolutionary and feminist groups”;

–        “spreading propaganda against the State” based on her “interviews with foreign and counter-revolutionary media participation in illegal gatherings, supporting sedition and anti-security inmates”; and

–        “membership of the illegal and anti-security LEGAM group[2]”.

For several years now, Ms. Mohammadi has been facing continuous judicial harassment related to her human rights work, including repeated summoning, interrogations and trials.

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