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Iranian Activist Transferred To Hospital From Prison

A Radio Farda cartoon illustration of Narges Mohammadi's plight.
A Radio Farda cartoon illustration of Narges Mohammadi's plight.

Narges Mohammadi, vice president and spokeswoman for the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), has been transferred from Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison to a hospital following severe uterine bleeding.

Mohammadi also suffered from a pulmonary embolism and muscle paralysis.

“Narges is currently taking 10 different medications behind bars, which has led to an outbreak of disorder in her physical condition,” said Mohammadi’s husband, Taqi Rahmani, in an exclusive interview with Radio Farda.

Rahmani, a political dissident who lives in exile in Paris, quoted Mohammadi’s physician as saying, “The prison condition and the food served there, as well as the multiple medications Narges takes, are hazardous to her health.”

According to Rahmani, his wife’s health problems are only controlled in prison but not treated.

“My wife has fallen victim to a sort of vendetta by the judiciary and the internal security section of the Intelligence Ministry,” he said. “Narges, in an unjustifiable condition, is deprived of having furlough, which is every prisoner’s absolute right.”

Earlier, Rahmani had said, “The authorities told Narges they would grant her furlough if she refrained from talking or meeting with anyone.”

In his interview with Radio Farda, Rahmani elaborated on what he calls the judiciary’s vengeance.

“Narges is only a human rights activist, and the place for a human rights activist is not behind bars,” he said. “A person who has been active in defending human rights does not deserve such inhumane pressures.”

Mohammadi was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for launching a campaign called LEGAM, a Persian acronym for a campaign to abolish the death penalty. She has also been sentenced to six years for propaganda against the system, assembly, and collusion against national security.

She immediately appealed, but according to the DHRC, it was rejected by the judiciary.

In her open letters, Mohammadi has always emphasized her demands to be tried in an open court -- a demand that was denied.

According to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), Mohammadi will become eligible for parole after serving 10 years.

In 2011, Mohammadi was sentenced to six years in prison but was released in 2013 on medical furlough.

“She was arrested again in May 2015 for her continued peaceful activism, notably after meeting the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at the Austrian Embassy in Tehran in September 2014,” reported the CHRI.

“I greet the arrival of spring, the renewal of life, and the beginning of another prison sentence. I am calm,” wrote Mohammadi in one of her open letters. “At this moment, I would rather be a prisoner with free will than being superficially free outside of prison.”

The DHRC was founded and is headed by Nobel Peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, who has been in exile in the United Kingdom since 2009.