IRAN: Serious concerns for the health and safety of imprisoned human rights defender and journalist Nargess Mohammadi (f)


RAN 20/12 – Update #1 – 28 June 2012

< The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International is alarmed by reports of the deteriorating health and ill-treatment of prominent Iranian human rights activist and journalist Nargess Mohammadi, who is currently serving a six-year prison sentence. She has recently been transferred to a distant prison facility, and there grave concerns for her well-being. PEN considers Nargess Mohammadi to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party, and calls for her immediate and unconditional release. Pending her release, PEN International urges that Nargess Mohammadi is given all necessary medical attention as a matter of priority, and that she is allowed regular family visits.

According to PEN International’s information, Nargess Mohammadi’s health has deteriorated rapidly since her arrest on 21 April 2012. Relatives who visited her recently report that she is in a very serious condition, and that they could barely recognise her. They found her in a wheelchair, with visible bruising to her face and hands; she spoke with difficulty and was extremely weak. Mohammadi suffers from a debilitating wasting condition in her muscles, and as a result she has fallen on many occasions, once needing treatment in the prison hospital.

Nargess Mohammadi has recently been transferred from Evin prison in Tehran, where her family and her young children live, to a small village jail in Zanjan. There, she is held in an overcrowded conditions.

An award-winning activist and journalist Nargess Mohammadi, formerly the deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), was arrested from her home on 21 April 2012 to serve out a six-year prison sentence. She was sentenced on 26 September 2011 to eleven years in prison for ‘acting against the national security’, ‘membership of the DHRC’ and ‘propaganda against the regime’ for her reporting on human rights violations, cooperation with Shirin Ebadi and visiting political prisoners. She remained free on bail, but on 4 March 2012 an appeals court confirmed the conviction, reducing the sentence to six years.

For the previous WiPC alert on Nargess Mohammadi, click here.

Please send appeals:
Expressing grave concern for the health and welfare of journalist Nargess Mohammadi, and demanding that she is given all necessary medical attention as a matter of urgency;
Urging that she has full access to family visits;
Calling for her immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory, and on humanitarian grounds.

Appeals to:
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Shoahada Street,
Qom,
Islamic Republic of Iran.

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri
Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran.

COPIES TO:
President:
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency,
Palestine Avenue,
Azerbaijan Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

If possible please send a copy of your appeal to the diplomatic representative for Iran in your country.

For further information please contact Cathy McCann at PEN International Writers in Prison Committee, Brownlow House, 50/51 High Holborn, London WC1V 6ER, Tel.+ 44 (0) 20 7405 0338, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7405 0339, email: cathy.mccann@pen-internationalpen.org