Jailed Iranian journalist faces new ‘absurd’ charge
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the latest “absurd charge” brought against jailed Iranian journalist and human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi, who has been imprisoned since 2015.
The Paris-based media-freedom watchdog on June 12 urged the UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Javaid Rehman, to “intervene quickly and do everything possible to obtain the release of Iran’s longest-held woman journalist.”
Mohammadi, who was also the spokeswoman of the Center for Human Rights Defenders in Iran, is serving a 10-year prison sentence after being found guilty of anti-government propaganda and membership of a banned group opposed to the death penalty, among other charges.
In a recent open letter to the Iranian judicial authorities, her brother revealed that she was now accused of “dancing in prison during the days of mourning” commemorating the seventh-century killing of Imam Hussein, a revered figure in Shi’ite Islam.
Mehdi Mohammadi, now a refugee in Norway, also wrote that his sister had serious health problems but “was not allowed out of prison to see a doctor, who went to her cell.”
“This persecution of Narges Mohammadi is evidence of judicial discrimination at the behest of the Intelligence Ministry and senior justice system officials,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan desk.
Mohammadi, 47, has been awarded several prestigious prizes, including the American Physical Society’s Andrei Sakharov Prize in 2018 for outstanding leadership in upholding human rights.
Iran is ranked 173rd out of 180 countries and territories in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.