Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns a Tehran court’s decision to uphold journalist and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi’s ten-year jail sentence on appeal.
Her lawyers received the news as her close colleague, 2003 Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, and RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire were meeting yesterday with Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Mohammadi’s husband, Taghi Rahmani, told RSF that the court rejected her lawyers’ appeals and confirmed the combined 16-year sentence that a Tehran court, under the ministry of intelligence’s influence, imposed at the end of trial in April that was marked by irregularities.
Detained since May 2015, Mohammadi will have to serve 10 of the 16 years under a law adopted in 2015, according to which anyone convicted on several criminal charges serves only the sentence corresponding to the most important charge.
Mayor Hidalgo expressed concern yesterday about the fate of Mohammadi, who was awarded the City of Paris medal on 3 May as a journalist and prominent defender of women’s rights.
Ebadi, whose latest book, “Until We Are Free,” has just been published in France, joined RSF in calling for Mohammadi’s release. “I condemn this sentence imposed by the Iranian judicial system as Narges’ only crime is to be a human rights defender in a country that flout these rights,” Ebadi said.
“Narges Mohammadi, this courageous Iranian woman whose iniquitous sentence has just been upheld on appeal, holds a special place in our thoughts and we once again call for her immediate release,” Deloire said.
Mohammadi was the spokesman of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders, which was founded by Ebadi, and she worked with Legam, an outlawed campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran.
Iran is ranked 169th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.