Award-Winning Journalist Spends Her 1,000th Day in an Iranian Prison

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) once again calls for her immediate release and urges the international community to action.

Now aged 46, Mohammadi was sentenced to five years in prison on a charge of “meeting and plotting against the Islamic Republic”, one year for “anti-government propaganda”, and ten years for working with Legam, an outlawed campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran.

An Iranian law adopted in 2015 decrees that anyone convicted on several criminal charges must serve only the sentence that corresponds to the most important charge. Still, this would mean that Mohammadi must spend a total of ten years in prison, and she is now in very poor health, which is believed to be a result of being denied proper medical attention while in prison.

Reza, the head of RSF’s Iran desk stated, “This is 1,000 days too many because there are no grounds for holding Narges Mohammadi, who should never have spent a single day in prison.” Moini also said, “We are very concerned for her health and we therefore appeal to the international community, as a matter of urgency, to put pressure on the Iranian authorities to free Mohammadi, who has become a symbol of the persecution of critical journalists in Iran.”

Mohammadi was detained for the first time in 2010. She was subsequently released after a few months because her state of health was of great concern. Following her release, she was subjected to intimidation attempts and arbitrary detention on several occasions before her arrest in 2015.

One of four journalists awarded the prestigious City of Paris medal by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo at an event organized by RSF at the Théâtre du Rond Point in Paris on May 2nd, 2016, which is the eve of World Press Freedom Day, Mohammadi was unable to attend. However, she sent a poignant message from her prison cell in Tehran.

Iran is ranked 165th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa has asserted, “Narges Mohammadi is a prominent advocate of human rights and a prisoner of conscience. She should be lauded for her courage not locked in a prison cell for 16 years.”