Activities/Rights: Human rights activist
Status: Evin Prison
Judicial status: 12 years imprisonment and 154 lashes
Violations: Arbitrary arrest and detention, lack of due process, unfair trial, familial punishment, denial of medical care, access to lawyer, prison exile, sexual harassment, prolonged solitary confinement, cruel and unusual punishment
Narges Mohammadi is a human rights and anti-death penalty activist, journalist, deputy director of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC) and member of Legam, the ‘step by step to stop the death penalty’ campaign. First arrested in 1998, Narges has acquired a record for her activism. She was fired from her job for her activism in 2009. She was sentenced to six years imprisonment in 2011 which was enforced after her arrest on 5 May 2015. On 18 May 2016, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced her to ten years imprisonment on the charge of “founding an illegal group” for Legam, five years for “assembly and collusion against national security”, a year for “propaganda against the system” for her interviews with international media and her March 2014 meeting with the EU’s then High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton.” The Court of Appeals upheld her sentence on 28 September 2016. On 21 December 2019, Narges among others staged a peaceful sit-in against the state response to the November 2019 nationwide protests. On December 25, she was violently transferred to Zanjan Prison which she described in an open letter. She was released from prison on 8 October 2020. On 24 December 2020, she filed a complaint about the sexual abuse and ill-treatment she suffered in prison, which remains unanswered. In a new case opened against her, Narges was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and 80 lashes for the charges, which was upheld in September. Narges was violently arrested and detained for hours after attending a protest in support of the Khuzestan protests in July. She was re-arrested at the ceremony of slain protester Ebrahim Ketabdar on October 16, and was informed that her 30 month imprisonment and 80 lashes were now enforceable while in the solitary confinement cells of the IRGC’s Ward 2A of Evin Prison.
On 24 January 2022, she was sentenced to eight years imprisonment and 70 lashes in a trial that only lasted five minutes. She was transferred to Qarchak Prison on 19 January and hospitalised less than a month later on 17 February 2022. She underwent an angioplasty procedure in hospital but was returned to Qarchak Prison the next day. She was sent on medical furlough on 22 February and was summoned back to prison on 7 March. Narges is the The Olof Palme Prize 2023 co-recipient for “efforts in the fight to secure women’s freedom, in an age when human rights are threatened by war, violence and oppression.” On 25 April 2023, she was summoned to Evin Court to face 8 new charges in a new case brought against her. She refused to appear in court and snubbed the court official who came to her ward. In April 2023, she sent a message to the “Dialogue to Save Iran” online conference, for which she was banned from visits. In May 2023, she was the co-winner of the 2023 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize and the 2023 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. She continued to regularly speak out against executions, human rights violations and state propaganda from behind bars, publishing statements via her instagram account. In July 2023, she was summoned to Evin Court for the 11th time for the fifth case opened against her in six months. She has refrained from attending every time, refusing to acknowledge the Court’s legitimacy and announcing that the fabricated charges would not silence her. On 4 August 2023, she was sentenced to another year imprisonment for the charge of "propaganda against the system" for a statement issued from behind bars about the rape and sexual assault of jailed women and a letter to Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran which was published by BBC World. Narges received an additional 15 months imprisonment for charges of "propaganda against the system" on 15 January 2024 with a two-year ban on using a mobile phone, leaving Iran, residing in Tehran and neighbouring provinces and membership in social and political groups as additional punishment.
Read Narges Mohammadi's foreword to the 2020 Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran.