Zara Mohammadi’s 5 Year Sentence Upheld for Teaching Kurdish Language

Feb. 14, 2021, 6:44 p.m.

Iran Human Rights )IHR); February 14, 2021: Kurdish language teacher and human rights defender, Zara Mohammadi, has been notified by text of her five-year prison sentence for charges of “forming a group against national security,” being upheld by Branch 4 of the Provincial Court of Appeals.

According to Iran Human Rights, on February 13, Zara Mohammadi received a text informing her that Branch 4 of the Provincial Court of Appeals, presided over by Judge Mostagfa Tayari, had upheld a five-year prison sentence in her case.

Following the text, Zara’s lawyers went to the court and were served with the judgement.

An informed source told IHR: “Miss Mohammadi will be appealing to the Supreme Court in the coming days.”

Zara Mohammadi was arrested on 23 May 2019, along with two other members of the Nojin Cultural Association, after security forces raided their homes in Sanandaj. The other two members, Edris Manbari and Ribwar Manbari were released on bail four days later and subsequently acquitted in court. However, Zara Mohammadi was kept in prison for over six months until she was temporarily released on a bail of 700 million Tomans on 2 December 2019.

On 12 July 2020, Zara was summoned to Branch 1 of the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court and sentenced to ten years in prison for “forming a group against national security.”

The Nojin Cultural Association officially started its activities in 2011 with an official permit from the Kurdistan Governor's Office. The association’s activities are focused on teaching the Kurdish language and environmental issues, with classes being held for children and adults at all levels.