Tehran frees Narges Mohammadi, signatory of the campaign against theocracy
The 48-year-old journalist and activist, mother of two, had been in prison since 2015. In recent months she had contracted the new coronavirus in prison, causing fear for her already precarious health conditions. Upon release, she called for freedom "for all prisoners". In 2003 she collaborated with the Nobel Peace Prize winner Shrin Ebadi.
Tehran (AsiaNews) - The Iranian authorities have released the long-time journalist and activist Narges Mohammadi, one of the signatories - when she was already in prison - of a referendum campaign for the end of theocracy in the country.
The news was confirmed on social media by her husband Taghi Rahmani yesterday, who reports that the woman "was released from Zanjan prison at 3 in the afternoon". Upon leaving, the 48-year-old leader for human rights and against the death penalty "hoped for the release of all prisoners".
Narges Mohammadi was arrested in May 2015 and, in recent months, had raised more than one alarm for having contracted the coronavirus in prison in the face of an already precarious clinical and health conditions. However, despite not having received special medical treatment - as reported by her family - she managed to overcome the virus and recover without serious consequences.
For six months in the women's prison of Zanjan where she had been transferred after spending most of her sentence in the notorious Evin prison, on the outskirts of Tehran, in the past she collaborated with the Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner (in 2003) Shirin Ebadi. She was also spokesperson and vice-president of the Iranian Center for the Defense of Human Rights and chairman of the executive committee of the National Peace Council since 2008.
Mother of two and active in the defense of human rights since her university days, the woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having "formed and led an illegal group", promoted campaigns "against the death penalty" and " conspiracy to threaten the security of the country ".
She has received many awards for the work in the field including the Alexander Langer 2009 prize, for having made "courageous choices", showing "independence of thought and strong social roots".
Reporters Without Borders (RFS) reports that Narges Mohammadi suffers from pulmonary embolism and a neurological disorder that have deeply undermined her body. In June she asked for bail in order to receive adequate medical treatment. In recent days, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet had launched an appeal to the authorities in Tehran for the "immediate release" of all political prisoners excluded from the pardon issued to empty prisons in time of the Covid pandemic- 19.
According to the special 2020 ranking of the World Press Freedom Index prepared by the RSF, the Islamic Republic is ranked 173rd out of 180 nations in the world for press freedom.