Iranian women’s rights defender, Ms. Narges Mohammadi, stands defiant: “I do not recognise the verdict of the Revolutionary Court!”

Narges Mohammadi’s letter from Qarchak Prison:

“During the sixty-four days I was held in Ward 209 [of Evin Prison], a prosecution was initiated against me and I was hastily investigated, tried, and sentenced, in a completely illegal, illegitimate, inhuman, and immoral act that contravened all laws and regulations.

Twelve hours after being placed in solitary confinement in Ward 209 in Evin Prison, I was notified in writing of my sentencing to eighty lashes and thirty months of imprisonment by […] order of the head of the [Tehran] Security Prosecutor’s Office, Mr. [Mohammad] Nasirpour.  On 22 November [2021], I was charged in a new [separate] prosecution in Branch 2 of the [Revolutionary] Court by interrogator, Mahmoud Haji Moradi.

On 24 December 2021, without any explanation or prior notice, I was taken to the same branch [of the Revolutionary Court] to present my final defence which, of course, I could not do and I requested a lawyer.  Indeed, at the moment of my arrest on 16 November [2021], I had made a request in writing – and in the presence of interrogator, Alireza Hosseini – to contact and meet with a lawyer, which was refused.

Finally, without access to a lawyer and having been banned from receiving visitors or a telephone call with my family for forty days by that point, the case was concocted and processed hastily.  And, on 12 January [2022], having been left in my prison cell and, according to the Ministry of Intelligence, having had no no interrogation, I was taken to Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court for trial.

[In the courtroom,] I was only accompanied by Ministry of Intelligence agents and was tried within five minutes with no lawyer present and without having had the chance to examine the case against me.  I declared that I had not been able to defend myself in that court.  [However,] the court announced their verdict a couple of days later, on 15 January [2022], and I wrote that I would neither appeal nor submit to the verdict, as I did not recognise it as lawful.

According to the verdict in this case, I was sentenced to eight years and two months in prison and seventy-four lashes; banned from residing in Tehran; banned from membership of any socio-political groups; and banned from accessing any social media, or even telecommunications or recording systems; and the confiscation of my mobile phone.  The investigation of this case lacked any legal legitimacy and was a deceptive and cruel project that was carried out in secret […] while I was confined to a prison cell with the intention of cutting off my voice from society and completely depriving me of the right to defend myself and protest.

What underlines the bias and baselessness of the allegations and the verdict in this case is that I was found guilty of being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian [branch of] Amnesty International.  This issue was not only raised by the representative of the Ministry of Intelligence [who interrogated me] in Ward 209 [of Evin prison], who considered it to be a foreign conspiracy against the Islamic Republic of Iran, but was also emphasised – in a stunning and unjustifiable manner – in the first line of the second page of the verdict issued by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court.

My question to the heads of the judiciary and the executive is whether Amnesty International Norway’s announcement that I was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for my pro-peace and human rights activities really constituted an act against [national] security and deserved eight years’ imprisonment – sixty-four days of which I was kept in captivity in the cells of the security ward [without knowing the charges I faced] – and seventy-four lashes.,

In conclusion, [my message] to the peace and human rights institutions of the world, including Amnesty International and the European Parliament, is that this sentence reflects the clear position of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the suppression of peace activists not only in Iran but around the world.  The world should not forget and ignore this naked repression of peace activists.”

Narges Mohammadi/ Monday, 24 January 2022/ Qarchak Varamin Prison

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