Human rights defender Narges Mohammadi. FILE PHOTO

Human rights defender Narges Mohammadi.

Prominent Rights Defender Says Iran Jailed Her For Nobel Nomination

1/26/2022

Iranian rights defender Narges Mohammadi said in a letter from prison that a court sentenced her to 8 years because she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In her letter from the notorious Gharchak (Qarchak) Prison, obtained by Iran International, Mohammadi who has recently been sentenced to over eight years in jail and 74 lashes, said Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in its ruling has stated her nominationby the Norway branch of Amnesty International in March as evidence of her criminality.

"What reveals the hostility and baselessness of the charges [brought against me] and the legal procedure leading to the ruling is that I have been found guilty for being nominated by the Norwegian Amnesty for the Nobel Peace Prize," Mohammadi, a lawyer by profession, wrote in her letter from prison.

Mohammadi also said an official of the intelligence ministry had told her that her nomination was a "foreign conspiracy against the Islamic Republic" while she was still being held at at a special ward of Tehran’s Evin prison, run by the intelligence ministry.

In March 2021, the chairman of Amnesty International in Norway announced that two members of the Norwegian parliament had nominated the Iranian human rights activist for the Nobel Peace Prize, backed by the local Amnesty branch.

"I ask the heads of the Judiciary and Executive, was my nomination … an act against national security of the regime to warrant eight years in prison and 74 lashes and to be held [in solitary confinement] in a cell at the intelligence ministry wing [of Evin Prison] for 64 days?" she wrote.

Mohammadi who is lawyer often defending dissidents, also urged international rights organizations and the members of the European Parliament not to disregard the Islamic Republic's suppression of peace activists.

In her letter, Mohammadi said her trial took place after she spent time in solitary confinement without being allowed to have legal representation, any visits, or even being interrogated. "I was tried within five minutes in the absence of a lawyer and without having read the case files," she said, adding that she chose not to defend herself during the trial as she did not recognize the court’s legality and would not file for appeal.

According to Mohammadi, her sentence also includes a ban on living in Tehran, membership in political and social groups, any social media activities, and even having a mobile phone.

Mohammadi was arrested in November in mid-November at the death anniversary of a citizen, Ebrahim Ketabdar, who was shot dead by security forces during the November 2019 protests.

Mohammadi, who is the vice-president of the Defenders of Human Rights Association, the Chair of the executive board of the Peace Council of Iran, and a member of "Step-by-Step Abolition of Execution" campaign, has been to jail several times over the past two decades.

She was freed from Evin Prison in September 2020 after serving more than five years on trumped up charges, without due process of law. During her imprisonment she was deprived for long periods of any contact with her husband and children who live abroad.

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