Defending Human Rights is a crime in Iran!

This video strongly condemns the unjust sentence given to the celebrated Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, the deputy director of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, who is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence in Iran for her advocacy of freedom and human rights.

The narrator says, “Civil rights activist Narges Mohammadi is currently serving a 16-year sentence, and ten years of this sentence must be spent in prison. The plaintiff in her case is the Ministry of Intelligence for Rouhani’s government. All of Narges Mohammadi’s activism has been concerned with improving the status of women and students, and abolishing the death penalty, for example, through the establishment of a death penalty abolition campaign named ‘Step-by-Step’ and through her activities with several human rights organizations. For this reason, the charges against Ms. Mohammadi, plus her 16-year prison sentence show no correlation with her peaceful activities within the framework of the law, as most of her activities included lecturing and writing and attempting to bring about changes in the law through informing the people and mobilizing public opinion. The president of state [Hassan Rouhani] has a similar opinion about comment, writing, and freedom in society; Hassan Rouhani said, ‘Do not break the pens under false excuses, do not sew up the mouths under baseless pretexts; let’s have freedom in this society.”

There is a large distance between Hassan Rouhani’s words and the behavior of his Ministry of Intelligence and Judiciary, however, since they have shown in practice that, unlike the president, they don’t recognize the right to object and to criticize. Despite Rouhani’s welcoming of criticism, Narges Mohammadi is still in prison. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Intelligence not only failed to withdraw its complaint but also called for the maximum penalty to be applied to her. Her sentence must be spent in prison. The plaintiff in her case is Rouhani’s Ministry of Intelligence. Even a complaint submitted by 15 MPs, who sent a letter to the Prosecutor General in an unprecedented step asking for the cancellation of the sentence and a review of the Narges case, has remained unanswered so far. The only response from the Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafari, in response to Ms. Mohammadi’s letter, was to refer to her as an “outcast component”. Of course, Narges Mohammadi did not leave Mohammad Jafari’s words unanswered. She told him, so release [the details of] my indictment and my defense and the reason why it was rejected so that the public can decide whether to reject me and cast me out, then it will become clear which of us deserves to be cast out.”

“Shirin Ebadi, the lawyer, Nobel Prize laureate and head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, condemned the performance of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Hassan Rouhani, telling the Human Rights Campaign in Iran that if Hassan Rouhani had done his legal duties there would be no need for MPs to write a letter to the judiciary to request that Narges Mohammadi’s severe sentence be overturned.”