RSF refers Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Narges Mohammadi arbitrary detention to Media Freedom Coalition

On the occasion of December 10th, International Human Rights Day, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Media Freedom Coalition (MFC), a partnership of 50 countries working to promote media freedom, to take action to terminate the arbitrary detention of Iranian journalist, human rights defender and 2023 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Narges Mohammadi.

The formal referral sent on December 8 by RSF to the MFC asks the Coalition to undertake all necessary diplomatic measures vis-à-vis the Iranian government, with the goal of securing the release of Narges Mohamaddi and, until then, the improvement of her detention conditions. The document details the judicial ordeal she’s been through since 1998 and demonstrates the arbitrary nature of her prolonged detention and the aggravation of her detention conditions - in particular the denial of the medical care she urgently needs.

“Member States of the MFC, and the coalition as a whole, must throw its whole weight into getting Iran to put an end to more than 20 years of tireless judicial harassment of Narges Mohammadi. All diplomatic efforts must be attempted to get her out of jail, at the very least to ensure her physical safety. On this symbolic date, it is more than ever necessary for the Coalition to act to free this restless defender of press freedom and human rights

Antoine Bernard
Director - Advocacy & Assistance

Narges Mohammadi, who was awarded the 2022 RSF Prize for Courage, and the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize, has been subjected to judicial harassment and successive convictions by the Iranian authorities since 1998, year of her first arrest, for exercising her activities as a journalist and advocating for human rights in the country. To date, she still has to serve almost 10 years in prison, in addition to a sentence of 154 lashes.

Particularly after the death of  Mahsa Amini in September 2022 and the commencement of the Women, Life, Freedom movement, Narges Mohammadi has faced numerous reprisals from within prison, accompanied by a deterioration in her detention conditions. Besides being forbidden to contact her husband and children, with whom she has not spoken in months and who she has not seen in eight years, Narges Mohammadi has been beaten and placed in solitary confinement several times, and is frequently denied access to medical care

The MFC was created in July 2019 at the initiative of the United Kingdom and Canada. Civil society organizations such as RSF that are members of the MFC’s consultative network can report particularly serious situations or individual cases, such as arbitrary detention, to member states for them to take action.

International Human Rights Day on 10 December, the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, must be an occasion for States around the globe that are attached to the respect of fundamental rights to take action to promote these rights, and to defend those who embody them. Nobody incarnates the fight for Human rights better than Narges Mohammadi, a tireless defender of the right to freedom of expression and press freedom in her country, Iran. Particularly at the occasion of December 10, the MFC, a partnership of countries working together to promote media freedom at home and abroad, must take action on her behalf.

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Updated on 08.12.2023