Iranian MPs appeal to authorities for activist's freedom

Iranian MPs appeal to authorities for activist's freedom
An Iranian academic and mother-of-two has been jailed for her activist work, but a group of MPs in Iran's parliament are applying pressure on the government to release her.
2 min read
16 October, 2016
Mohammadi has been jailed due to her activist work [AFP]
A group of Iranian lawmakers have written an open letter to the head of the judiciary calling for the release of Narges Mohammadi, an activist sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Mohammadi has campaigned against the death penalty and was awarded the City of Paris medal earlier this year for her work on women's rights. 

She was arrested in May last year and sentenced in April to a 16 years in prison on various charges, including "forming and managing an illegal group".

In the letter published by Iranian media on Sunday, the lawmakers call on Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, the head of the judiciary, "to apply the clemency and mercy of the Islamic republic" and reunite her with her children.  

They also highlight Mohammadi's medical problems including "muscular paralysis". 

Among the signatories were parliamentary vice president Ali Motahari and several female MPs. 

Mohammadi, who was also spokeswoman for Iran's Centre for Human Rights Defenders, went on hunger strike in June after being denied phone contact with her children, who live with their father in France. The authorities relented after 20 days of the hunger strike. 

Under a law passed last year, she should only serve the sentence linked to the most important charge - in this case 10 years for forming the "illegal group" Legam which pressed for an end to capital punishment.

Amnesty International says Iran executed 977 people last year, mostly on drug trafficking charges.