Prominent human rights defender Narges Mohammadi was arrested this Sunday and is currently in an unknown location. In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Mohammadi’s husband Taghi Rahmani said that the family’s efforts to find our her location have been fruitless.
“Narges has not called home since yesterday and her family’s calls and follow-ups have also gone unanswered. But we heard from families of other prisoners that she has been transferred to Evin Prison’s Women’s Ward. I don’t know how reliable the news is, but some prisoner families said that they saw her when she was getting out of car in front of Evin Prison,” he told the Campaign.
Rahmani told the Campaign that on 22 April at 11:30 a.m., security forces went to Narges’ mother’s home in Zanjan:
Apparently there was a man and a woman, and they asked Narges to go with them, but Narges asked to see their identification cards, which they refused to present. They struggled for a half an hour until at 12:00 p.m., she went with them. The reason she went with them was that the forces wanted to enter the house, and she agreed to go with them because she didn’t want the children to be frightened. At 5:00 p.m., Narges’ parents went to Zanjan Intelligence Office and were told by officials that she had been transferred to Tehran. Since then we have no more news on her, except for what prisoner families told us.
In October 2011, Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Mohammadi to 11 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center,” and “propagating against the regime.” Branch 54 of Tehran Appeals Court later reduced her sentence to six years in prison. Mohammadi’s lawyer was only informed of her sentence two months after it had been issued.
“Everyone is concerned about our two young children, and I worry a lot about them, too. But I know that my mother, my sisters, and Narges’ sisters will look after them. More than the kids, right now I worry about Narges’ illness. She has muscular paralysis, which is exacerbated under stress and pressure. I don’t know what prison would do to her,” said Rahmani, expressing concern about his wife’s condition.
Taghi Rahmani, journalist, author, and political activist, has spent a third of his life in prison. He was arrested on 9 February 2011, after security forces broke the door to his home and stormed his residence without a warrant. He was released on bail on 14 May 2011. Faced with a five-year prison sentence and other impending cases, as well as mounting pressure by intelligence forces who routinely summon him and insist he refrain from writing and giving interviews, Taghi Rahmani left Iran in March 2011 and currently resides outside of Iran.