The imprisoned Iranian Nobel laureate and human rights activist, Narges Mohammadi’s prison term has been extended to 15 months as announced on 16th of January, 2024.
She is accused of spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic regime. She has already spent 12 years in jail against national security and propaganda against the state. This was her fifth conviction since March 2021, as stated by her family. She was not present when the recent verdict was issued against her.
On the face of extending Mohammadi’s term, the verdict also mentioned that after serving in prison, she would be barred from travelling abroad, getting membership in political and social groups, and having a mobile phone for the same duration. Additionally, the new sentence orders Mohammadi to spend her term in exile outside Tehran.
She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October, 2023 for her fight against the atrocities and oppression of women in Iran for campaigning for human rights and her consistent fight to promote human rights for all. The Nobel prize was accepted by her teenage child on behalf of her at Oslo, ‘s city hall. The children read the speech that had been secretly taken out from her prison wherein Mohammadi condemned Iran’s “tyrannical” government.
“I write this message from behind the high,cold walls of prison.The Iranian people,with perseverance,will overcome repression and authoritarianism”, she said.
Narges: The Jailed Activist
Being an activist, she got arrested multiple times for decades. She has been arrested 13 times and sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison. Mohammadi’s new sentence came after two journalists were released on parole after being held in Iran for the coverage of the 2022 death of Mahsa Amini, as stated by the state-run media. A letter posted by the Evin prison in 2023 where Mohammadi is held was shared with CNN mentioning that Mohammadi criticised the government’s mandatory hijab policy, citing it as a deceptive tactic targeting women and an instrument to strengthen the power of the religious government. In August 2023, she was sentenced to an additional year in jail for her consistent activism behind bars. This followed a media interview and a public statement addressing the rising incidents of sexual assaults in prison wherein she consequently, characterised abuse as an organised issue. However, the Iranian government refuted widespread allegations of sexual assaults on detainees, dismissing them as false and baseless, as revealed in a comprehensive CNN investigation conducted last year.