By Kayhan Life Staff
Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian human rights activist and the vice president of the Tehran-based Defenders of Human Rights Center, has been handed a custodial 30-month prison sentence and 80 lashes, and ordered to pay two separate fines. Ms. Mohammadi has been summoned to court to serve her sentence.
Mohammadi was arrested on Sept. 8 while attending an anti-Taliban protest outside the Pakistani embassy in Tehran, but was released several hours later.
The civil society campaigner was scheduled to give a speech on the same day at an online conference hosted by the Washington-based Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security (GIWPS) on the state of women’s rights in Iran. Unable to attend the meeting, Mohammadi produced a video recording so that it could be broadcast at the event.
Writing on her Instagram account on Sept. 26, Ms. Mohammadi said: “My conviction is confirmed and is now enforceable. I received the ruling from the Branch-11 of the Criminal Court-1 (Shahid Moqaddas ‘security’).”
“Since the beginning, I have consistently said that it has been a brazen and unjust attempt to build a case against me,” Mohammadi explained. “I do not accept the ruling which I have received, handing me a 30-month custodial prison sentence, 80 lashes, and two separate fines.”
“Since the start of the case against me, I have attended no trial proceedings and court hearings and have never been represented by a lawyer,” Mohammadi noted. “I will not allow the agents of this despotic religious state to whip me even once. I will resist as long as I can, and I will take the whip out of their hands.”
“I will also ignore their summons and will not report to prison, and if they take me to prison by force, I will continue to protest from inside my cell,” Mohammadi said. “The Evin [Prison] Investigative Branch-2 has opened another case against me. I also received a notice regarding the referral of two complaints filed against me with the Evin’s Investigative Branch-2.”
“Through official notices and unofficial sources, I have found out that during the 10 months I have been out of prison, several cases have been compiled against me at the Evin [Prison] security branch, which is part of illegal and oppressive actions taken against civil rights activists by the security agencies.”
“However, I state that all my activities in the Defenders of Human Rights Center and taking part in marches have been in line with citizens’ rights guaranteed by the Constitution. No one can deprive us of these rights,” Mohammadi argued. “Since being released [from prison] 10 months ago, I have been arrested five times by security forces and physically assaulted each time, and these were illegal arrests.”
“Therefore, I reject all these baseless charges and will continue my activities as long as I am free,” Mohammadi added. “Civil institutions belong to the people, and we will not give them up.”