Human Rights Commissioner on the renewed sentence against Iranian human rights defender Narges Mohammadi

26.05.2021 - Press release

Following the renewed sentencing of Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi announced on Monday, Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (26 May):

I was shocked to learn that Narges Mohammadi has been sentenced to two and a half years’ imprisonment, 80 lashes and a fine.

Narges Mohammadi has been working peacefully and tirelessly for many years to improve the human rights situation in Iran and in particular to bring about the abolition of the death penalty.

This work has once more become her downfall. It is a scandal that Iran is criminalising the work of this internationally renowned human rights defender.

I call on the Iranian judiciary to ensure that Narges Mohammadi receives justice and to quash the verdict immediately. In view of her extremely poor health, she certainly should not have to begin a renewed prison sentence.

Iran must finally meet its obligations under international law and respect its citizens’ human rights.

Background information

Narges Mohammadi, deputy head of the now banned Human Rights Defenders founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, has been sentenced to two and half years’ imprisonment, as well as 80 lashes and a fine. According to reports, her renewed sentence is related to her commitment to the abolishment of the death penalty and a vigil that she organised in autumn 2019 in Teheran's Evin Prison for the victims of the demonstrations against the regime which were so brutally quashed.

Previously, she had been arrested in 2015 and sentenced to a total of 16 years in prison in April 2016, in part for setting up the “Legam” group, which sought the gradual abolition of the death penalty. She is in a critical state of health. She was released from prison early on 8 October 2020. In December 2016 she was presented with the Human Rights Award of the City of Weimar and in April 2018 the Andrei Sakharov Prize awarded annually by the American Physical Society to scientists for their achievements in upholding human Rights.


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