August 2, 2017
Iran’s judicial and security bodies have waged a vicious crackdown against human rights defenders since Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013, demonizing and imprisoning activists who dare to stand up for people’s rights, Amnesty International said in a new report published today.
Caught in a web of repression: Iran’s human rights defenders under attack details how scores of human rights activists – often labelled “foreign agents” and “traitors” by state media – have been prosecuted and jailed on spurious “national security” charges, dealing a crushing blow to hopes of human rights reform raised during President Hassan Rouhani’s first election campaign. Some activists have been sentenced to more than 10 years behind bars for simple acts such as being in contact with the UN, EU or human rights organizations including Amnesty International.
“It is a bitter irony that as the Iranian authorities boast about their increased engagement with the UN and the EU, particularly in the aftermath of the nuclear deal, human rights defenders who have made contact with these same institutions are being treated as criminals,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Prominent human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, who led the Centre for Human Rights Defenders in Iran, is serving a 16-year prison sentence also in connection with her human rights work. The criminal case against her was opened in reprisal for a meeting she had with EU’s former foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, on International Women’s Day in 2014.
She dedicated her life to defending human rights, and now Narges Mohammadi has been sentenced to 16 years in jail as part of Iran’s crackdown on human rights defenders. ✍️Sign the petition to help free Narges>>http://bit.ly/2wmx1ey
(Amnesty International Canada Facebook)