Imprisoned Human Rights Defender Narges Mohammadi Hospitalized in Tehran
Renowned human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi was transferred from Tehran’s Evin Prison to a hospital on June 30, 2018, due to severe kidney pain, her husband Taghi Rahmani informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“She was first taken to the prison clinic but she was in so much pain that she was given permission to be dispatched to a hospital and as far as I know, the doctors are checking her gallbladder and kidney stones,” Rahmani told CHRI in a phone interview from his residence in France.
“I don’t know if she needs to be operated on or how long she will remain hospitalized,” he added.
Following her hospitalization, Mohammadi’s lawyer expressed hope that she would not be taken back to prison.
“My client got sick Friday night [June 29],” attorney Mohammad Behzadi-Rad told the state-funded Iranian Labor News Agency. “I hope Ms. Mohammadi will be granted conditional leave.”
Arrested in May 2016, Mohammadi, 46, is serving a 16-year prison sentence for her public advocacy of women’s and human rights. She will be eligible for release after serving 10 years.
The recipient of the 2018 Andrei Sakharov Prize from the American Physical Society, Mohammadi, who majored in physics at Imam Khomeini University in the city of Qazvin, was a spokesperson for the now-banned Defenders of Human Rights Center.
“The path to democracy in Iran lies not through violence, war, or military action by a foreign government, but through organizing and strengthening civil society institutions. The government knows this only too well,” said Mohammadi in a speech that was read on her behalf on April 16, 2018, by Iranian American academic Nayereh Tohidi, who accepted the award on Mohammadi’s behalf in Columbus, Ohio.
She was previously incarcerated in 2009 and sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center,” and “propaganda against the state.” Upon appeal, her sentence was reduced to six years behind bars and she was released in 2013 on medical grounds.