The open expression advocacy group PEN America urges the public to join scores of writers, artists, human rights advocates and civil society organizations from around the globe in calling on the Iranian government to release human rights defender and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi from prison.
The petition FREE NARGES NOW! calls on Iranian authorities to immediately free Mohammadi, ensure she receives proper medical care, and allow her to travel to Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony on December 10.
“Despite massive global recognition for her tireless advocacy for women's rights and human rights in Iran, Narges is currently serving multiple politically-motivated prison sentences totalling over 30 years,” it says. “Given the precarious state of her health, we are extremely concerned for her physical well-being.”
The petition also calls on the international community to press for Mohammadi's release, saying “it is a moral imperative to prioritize human rights over political considerations and to advocate for the freedom of those who use their voices to defy tyranny and to champion justice and equality.”
For over a decade, Mohammadi “has faced a sequence of ordeals including a series of arrests, false retaliatory charges, medical neglect, and abusive treatment in custody, including prolonged periods in solitary confinement,” the petition reads. “She has been torn away from her family and is not allowed even phone contact with her husband and children.”
The activist’s health has “severely declined due to egregious prison conditions and medical neglect by authorities”, it adds. “They have repeatedly refused to give her regular access to essential health check-ups with a specialist for an ongoing heart and pulmonary condition because she refuses to wear the mandatory hijab.”
Mohammadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month for keeping up her fight against the “oppression of women” in her country despite spending years behind bars.
She was also awarded both the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award and the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize earlier this year.