News

January 30, 2018

For defending press freedom in Iran: 1,000 days in prison and counting

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call for the immediate release of Iranian journalist and human rights defender Narges Mohammadi, who completed her thousandth day in detention yesterday, and urges the international community to react.

Now aged 46, the onetime spokesperson of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders has been imprisoned since 5 May 2015.

Mohammadi has been sentenced to five years in prison on a charge of “meeting and plotting against the Islamic Republic,” one year for “anti-government propaganda” and ten years for working with Legam, an outlawed campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran.


Under a law adopted in 2015, anyone convicted on several criminal charges serves only the sentence corresponding to the most important charge. This would nonetheless mean that Mohammadi must spend a total of ten years in prison although now in very poor health as a result of being denied proper medical attention.


This is 1,000 days too many because there are no grounds for holding Narges Mohammadi, who should never have spent a single day in prison,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran desk.

“We are very concerned for her health and we therefore appeal to the international community, as a matter of urgency, to put pressure on the Iranian authorities to free Mohammadi, who has become a symbol of the persecution of critical journalists in Iran.”


Mohammadi was subjected to intimidation attempts and arbitrary detention on several occasions before her arrest in 2015. Detained for the first time in 2010, she was released a few months later because her state of health was regarded as very worrying after heavy-handed interrogation.


She was one of four journalists who were awarded the City of Paris medal by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo at an event organized by RSF at the Théâtre du Rond Point in Paris on 2 May 2016 (the eve of World Press Freedom Day). Unable to attend in person, Mohammadi sent a poignant message from her prison cell in Tehran.


Iran is ranked 165th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.