28 Sep 2011

Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi jailed for 11 years

A prominent Iranian human rights activist who was taken seriously ill after being detained by the authorities has been sentenced to 11 years in jail.

Narges Mohammadi, 39, the deputy head of Iran's Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), a rights organisation presided over by the Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, was picked up last year by security officials who raided her house in middle of the night without a warrant for her arrest.

Narges Mohammadi

She was taken to Tehran's Evin prison where she was kept in solitary confinement but was released after a month and taken to hospital. Mohammadi, a mother of two and winner of the 2009 Alexander Langer award for her human rights activities, has since developed an undiagnosed epilepsy-like disease which causes her to lose control over her muscles temporarily during the day.

It emerged on Tuesday that a court in Tehran has now convicted her on three charges: acting against the national security, membership of the DHRC and propaganda against the regime, for which she has received an 11-year sentence in total. "I'm not involved in politics, I'm only a human rights activist," Mohammadi said by phone from Tehran. "I was informed of the 11-year sentence through my lawyers, who were given an unprecedented 23-page judgment issued by the court in which they repeatedly likened my human rights activities to attempts to topple the regime."

The Guardian