The husband of prominent Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi has said he’s been led to understand – but does not yet know for certain – that his wife has been sentenced anew to eight years in prison, 70 lashes and two years’ “deprivation of communications” for her peaceful activism.
The sham trial is understood to have lasted fewer than ten minutes. Taghi Rahmani, a political activist himself, said the information was still only “hearsay” and he had received no formal contact from lawyers or the court.
Narges Mohammadi was rearrested by security forces on November 17 last year after she attended a vigil for Ebrahim Ketabdar, a 30-year-old father-of-two shot dead during the November 2019 protests. She had been out of prison for just 12 months, having previously served time for her women’s rights advocacy, and had already been sentenced in May 2021 to another 30 months in prison and 80 lashes just for speaking out about the abuse she had endured behind bars.
After being beaten and detained in Karaj, she spent two months in solitary confinement in Evin Prison. Four days ago, she was transferred to Qarchak Women’s Prison in Varamin, an infamously squalid and under-resourced facility where reports of overcrowding and sexual abuse by guards are commonplace. Rahmani, who is based in Paris, called his wife's transfer to Qarchak prison a form of “vengeance on liberty”.
Last month, Rahmani had had fleeting contact with the head “investigator” at Evin Prosecutor’s Office. Quoting them in a post on Twitter, he said: “Narges has no right to choose a lawyer; cases have been filed against her and she is in solitary confinement." In addition, he said, he had been told the new charge against her related to “espionage for Saudi Arabia”.