Narges Mohammadi, Iranian journalist close to Shirin Ebadi, arrested: rights group


A September 4, 2001 photo of Narges Mohammadi.


Behrouz Mehri

Reporters without Borders (RSF) today expressed alarm at the fresh arrest of Iranian female journalist Narges Mohammadi, also a spokeswoman for the Iran-based rights center co-founded by Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi.

The press advocacy group said Mohammadi was arrested over the weekend and taken to Tehran's notorious Evin prison, where many political dissidents continue to be held and where many are believed to have been subjected to torture following the country's massive 2009 anti-government uprisings

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She was first arrested in June 2010 on charges of illegal opposition activity but was temporarily released the following month after suffering a nervous breakdown, said RSF.

Mohammadi, who has muscular paralysis, was sentenced to 11 years in jail, a term reduced to six years at an appeal hearing early last month, according to RSF.

Mohammadi's journalist husband, forced into exile after reportedly spending a third of his life in jail, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on Tuesday that "right now I worry about Narges’ illness," adding, "I don’t know what prison would do to her." 

Taghi Rahmani also said he was "concerned about our two young children." 

The Associated Press described Mohammadi as a "close associate" of Ebadi, a famous women's rights activist and judge also forced into exile over safety concerns.

The prominent lawyer and author recently argued that the new US and EU-imposed sanctions on Iran violate human rights, telling The New York Times that Iranians "need these sanctions to be removed for a sustainable life.”

Ebadi helped found Iran's Center for Human Rights Defenders in 2001.