May 6, 2016
INU – In a ceremony in Paris on May 2, Reporters Without Borders declared four journalists to be heroes and heroines of 2016; amongst them was Ms. Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian political prisoner, lawyer, and human rights activist.
During this ceremony, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo expressed her support for all those who work for freedom of expression. She presented City of Paris medals to the chosen journalists and praised their endeavors, saying that the gates of the French capital will always be open to them.
Mohammadi has been arrested many times for her human rights activities. She was last arrested on 5 May 2015 at her home by judicial security agents without prior notice and was transferred to the notorious Evin Prison in northern Tehran. The arrest initiated a six-year prison sentence that had already been handed down in March 2011.
In a message sent to Reporters Without Borders on the occasion of its ceremony, Ms. Mohammadi referred to the difficult work of reporting in Iran and wrote that domestic media are unable to publish reports or opinions of freedom and rights activists because of the risks involved. She added that when the words of these activists appear in the foreign media, the Iranian government finds various pretexts upon which to prosecute them.
Ms. Mohammadi suffers from acute lung disease and muscular paralysis. Physicians have stated that her diseases are aggravated by prison conditions or in tense environments and may threaten her life. Iranian authorities routinely deny essential medical care to prisoners, especially political prisoners, as a means of exerting political pressure or imposing extra-judicial punishment.
In a statement on April 5, 2016, Amnesty International called for Mohammadi’s unconditional release. It emphasized that this political prisoner has had no contact with her children for over eight months and is seriously ill.
Likewise, Reporters Without Borders published a statement on January 21, 2016 in which it condemned the ill treatment of imprisoned journalists by the Iranian regime. The organization made reference to the denial of medical treatment and noted that Mohammadi is among the political prisoners who have been subject to this and other pressures.The Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) calls for the release of all political prisoners in Iran.