Leading Activist Arrested Ahead of Her Trial for Peaceful Civil Activities
Narges Mohammadi is Transferred to Evin Prison
Civil rights activist and Deputy Director of the banned Defenders of Human Rights Center, Narges Mohammadi, was arrested at her home in Tehran in the early hours of May 5, 2015, the Kaleme website, which is close to Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, reported.
The report also stated that unidentified security agents threatened Ms. Mohammadi with breaking the door to enter her home. Ms. Mohammadi was reportedly transferred to Evin Prison.
The reasons for Ms. Mohammadi’s arrest are not clear. She had appeared before Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Salavati on May 3, following her summons, and was granted an extension so that her lawyers could review her case file prior to trial on new charges for her civil activities, Ms. Mohammadi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on May 3.
Narges Mohammadi faces charges of “propaganda against the state,” “assembly and collusion against national security,” and “establishing the anti-security and illegal ‘Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty’ group.” Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty is a campaign established by prominent Iranian civil activists that strives to abolish capital punishment in Iran.
Prior to her arrest, Narges Mohammadi told the Campaign that she had been charged with security charges for her peaceful civil activities.
“Even my presence at a gathering outside the Parliament to protest the acid attacks [against women in Isfahan], is reflected as ‘participation in riots.’ I was extensively interrogated on this subject. I said I participated in a peaceful gathering with hundreds of other citizens, but the interrogator insisted that it was a riot,” said Ms. Mohammadi.
“The reasons for these charges are almost entirely based on my civil activities over the past two years. My interviews with media based outside Iran, my speeches at different ceremonies, my efforts to abolish capital punishment through establishing ‘Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty,’ establishing the ‘Women’s Civil Center,’ continuing my activities with the Defenders of Human Rights Center, and my relationship with [human rights defender and Nobel Peace laureate] Ms. Shirin Ebadi are the most significant reasons cited for my charges,” added Narges Mohammadi.
Regarding her May 3 court appearance, Ms. Mohammadi told the Campaign, “My court proceeding with Judge Salavati, the Prosecutor’s representative, and my two lawyers began at 10 am. My lawyers objected to the fact they had not been allowed to review my case file, and that they did not know what the case is all about and stated, therefore, that they were not able to defend me.”
“One of my lawyers said that he had appeared nine times at Branch 15 to read my case file, and even mentioned the dates he had appeared at the court, but he had not been allowed to read the case file…Judge Salavati said in court that my lawyers can go to the branch on Tuesday, May 5 to read my case, but at the beginning of the court meeting, the Prosecutor’s representative read my three charges with reasons for them,” she added.