Clip of Narges Mohammadi Being Tested for COVID-19 Manufactured, Says Husband
Video is Attempt to Counter Reports That Imprisoned Activist May Have Virus
A clip broadcast on Iranian state TV on July 16, 2020, claiming to show imprisoned human rights defender Narges Mohammadi being tested for the coronavirus by what appears to be a medical professional on the previous day, was a manufactured attempt by the authorities in Iran to counter reports that she may have COVID-19, Mohammadi’s husband told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on July 19, 2020.
There have been widespread concerns amid reports that she and other prisoners have displayed symptoms of the coronavirus but have not been tested.
The clip of Mohammadi, who is being held in Zanjan Prison, 210 miles west of Tehran, serving a 16-year sentence for her peaceful human rights activism, was filmed in secret at an unknown date by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which is well known for airing false videos.
Mohammadi’s husband, Taghi Rahmani, who lives in exile in France, said in an interview with CHRI: “The Islamic Republic’s response to the widely-publicized issues facing Narges in Zanjan Prison was to create a scenario with secret cameras.
“The timing is important. When was it filmed? The authorities don’t let lawyers meet with Narges but they allow her to be secretly filmed? They should interview Narges herself and broadcast her own words about how she’s feeling,” he added.
Clip Aired by IRIB, Well Known for False Videos
At the 01:18 mark on the clip, Mohammadi, who will be eligible for release from prison only after serving ten years of her sentence, says, “I’m good, I’m good.” and the examiner says “Okay. Very well.”
The footage was aired as part of IRIB’s “20:30” program, which is affiliated with Iran’s security establishment.
Rahmani continued: “This clip is a one-sided scenario. Grant furlough to Narges so that we can measure the truth. If the authorities are telling the truth they should let an independent doctor and her family see her. If they are truthful, they should interview Narges.”
Widespread Concerns for Prisoners in Iran Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Remain
The authorities in Iran have been widely criticized by human rights organizations and the UN for inadequately addressing the health concerns of prisoners in Iran’s overcrowded, unhygienic prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read this article in Persian.