Narges Mohammadi: Health of Imprisoned Human Rights Defender in Danger

July 13, 2016, 3:11 p.m.

Narges Mohammadi's health is in danger as she enters her third week of hunger strike protesting a ban on phone calls with her children.

Iran Human Rights (July 13 2016): Narges Mohammadi's health is reportedly in danger as she enters the third week of her hunger strike protesting a ban by prison authorities on phone calls with her children.

Narges Mohammadi, a human rights activist and the the spokesperson for the Center for Human Rights Defenders, reportedly began her hunger strike on Monday June 27 in Evin Prison. In a letter she released from prison, Ms. Mohammadi explains that her only request is to be allowed phone calls with her young children. In accordance with Article 213 of the Iranian prison organization bylaws, prisoners are allowed phone calls at their own expense, even with non-relatives.

Ms. Mohammadi's husband, Taghi Rahmani, tells Iran Human Rights: According to the laws, Narges must receive a response for her legitimate request. Being allowed communication and visitation is the right of all prisoners, one should not have to launch a hunger strike for this. It is deplorable that she has not been allowed phone calls with her children for one year now. This is an unjustifiable punishment that affects the whole family.

"As far as I know, they have transferred Narges to the prison clinic a couple times. This confirms that Narges has fallen ill in prison. Her hunger strike will only result in the further deterioration of her health, especially since Narges is unable to take her medicine- like pills to reduce blood clotting and antiepileptic drugs. On a typical day, Narges is required to take between 11 and 14 different pills to tackle her various ailments. Her current situation is dangerous," says Mr. Rahmani. 

Narges Mohammadi, who reportedly suffers from paresis and pulmonary embolism, was recently sentenced to 16 years in prison by branch 15 of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, presided by the corrupt judge Salavati. Ms. Mohammadi was sentenced to 10 years in prison for membership in the anti death penalty group, LEGAM. She was issued another five years in prison for "Assembly and collusion against national security" and one year for "Propaganda against the system". In accordance with Iran's Islamic Penal Code, Article 134, Ms. Mohammadi must serve ten years of her sentence in prison.

After she met with EU's Catherine Ashton in 2014, Ms. Mohammadi was attacked in the media by hardliners and summoned several times by Iranian intelligence agents for interrogations. Ms. Mohammadi was arrested by Iranian authorities on May 5, 2015 at her home and transferred to Evin Prison.

"The imprisonment of human rghts defenders is illegal and immoral- and banning Narges Mohammadi from phone calls with her children is cruel and inhumane," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.