Authorities Deny Hospitalization for Ill Activist and Postpone Her Trial Again
No Explanation Given for Third Postponement of Narges Mohammadi’s Trial Date
The trial of imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi has been postponed for a third time, her husband Taghi Rahmani told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“The lawyers came to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati [on October 6, 2015] but his secretary said the trial would not take place. No explanation was given and the new trial date is unclear,” Rahmani said.
Meanwhile, prison authorities continue to deny the renowned activist proper medical treatment for worsening neurological problems, a practice that is commonly meted out to political prisoners in Iran.
“During the past month Narges has been taken to the hospital a number of times and treated as an outpatient. The neurologists recommended that she should be hospitalized, but this has not yet happened. We are very worried about her condition and are waiting to see her be hospitalized,” her husband told the Campaign.
Mohammadi was originally due to be put on trial on May 3, 2015 on charges of “collusion,” “assembly against national security,” and “membership in Step by Step to Stop Death Penalty.” That date was postponed until June 6 on the request of the defense attorneys who argued they had not been given sufficient time to study the indictment. The second postponement on June 6 was because Mohammadi was not transferred from prison to court where her lawyers were waiting for her.
After the prominent human rights defender discussed Iran’s human rights issues with the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at the Austrian Embassy in Tehran in March 2014, the security establishment significantly increased pressure on Mohammadi with months of harassment and multiple interrogations. She was arrested on May 5, 2015, and has been held at Evin Prison ever since, where her health has steadily deteriorated.
Narges Mohammadi, winner of the 2011 Per Anger prize for her fight for human rights and women’s freedom, was first arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 11 years in prison in October 2011 on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security,” “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center,” and “propaganda against state.”
The Appeals Court reduced her sentence to six years in prison and in 2013 she was released from Zanjan prison on 600 million toman (approximately $200,000) bail for medical reasons. Her arrest in May 2015, ostensibly on these older charges, was more accurately related to Mohammadi’s visit with Ashton and her continued peaceful activism.