Activist Imprisoned with Drug Trafficker Inmates In Zanjan
Taghi Rahmani, husband of imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that at his wife’s last visit with her family, a stammering Mohammadi appeared with a bruised face. “During the Saturday, 16 June visitation, Narges’ face was bruised. She told [her parents] that on Wednesday, 13 June, she suffered a blackout under the shower and fell to the ground. One of her cellmates picked her up, but Narges was not able to walk anymore the rest of that day. She was taken to Beheshti Hospital in Zanjan on Thursday, but instead of hospitalizing her they gave her some pills and returned her to prison. The worse thing yet, is that her children saw her in this condition with the bruised face and the stammering,” Rahmani told the Campaign.
On 22 April, security forces transferred Narges Mohammadi, human rights activist and Deputy Director of Center for Human Rights Defenders, from her parents’ home in Zanjan to Tehran to commence serving her six year prison term. Against legal procedures, instead of taking her to the General Ward of Evin Prison, Mohammadi was transferred to the Intelligence Ministry’s Ward 209. She was transferred to the Zanjan Prison on 11 June for unknown reasons.
Taghi Rahmani told the Campaign that the stressful environment at Zanjan Prison intensifies his wife’s medical conditions. “In the Women’s Ward of Zanjan Prison, serious fights routinely break out among inmates. They use blades or other items to cut each other. Prison guards remove Narges from the ward when fights break out and return her when they are over. Stress serves as poison to my wife’s medical condition, but she has been placed among women who are mostly in prison for drug trafficking.
“Transferring Narges from Evin to Zanjan Prison is a completely illegal action that makes no sense, except that they wish to put Narges under more pressure and abuse. Narges’ prison sentence is not stipulated to be served in exile. Narges’ city of residence is Tehran and all her court sessions have been held in Tehran. There is no reason for the transfer. Unfortunately, there are no other prisoners inside Zanjan Prison who have political or human rights charges. Narges is going through some hard days,” said Taghi Rahmani, objecting to his wife’s transfer to Zanjan Prison.
Addressing the judicial authorities, Taghi Rahmani said, “According to our laws, sick prisoners must be treated. Therefore our judicial authorities should grant Narges medical leave according to the law, or to take her to see a specialist themselves, or at least to transfer her to Evin Prison, so that she has less anxiety and friction. Unfortunately, none of our requests for treatment for Narges have been reviewed yet. Instead, 20 days after her interrogations, they transferred her to a prison in another town.”
In October 2011, Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Mohammadi to 11 years in prison on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center,” and “propagating against the regime.” Branch 54 of Tehran Appeals Court later reduced her sentence to six years in prison. Mohammadi’s lawyer was only informed of her sentence two months after it had been issued.
Narges Mohammadi was the winner of the Swedish Government’s and the Living History Forum’s 2011 human rights award, but she was unable to attend her award ceremony because she was banned from foreign travel.
Mohammadi’s husband, political activist Taghi Rahmani, spent half of his life in Iranian prisons. He left Iran in 2012 and currently resides in France. The couple have five-year-old twins.