Iran human rights activist gets 10-year sentence
Narges Mohammadi has campaigned against the death penalty and serves as the VP of the now-banned Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran
An already-imprisoned prominent human rights activist in Iran has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in a new trial, a ruling denounced Friday by the United Nations as it called for her immediate release.
Iranian media and officials have not commented on the sentence for Narges Mohammadi, who has campaigned against the death penalty and serves as the vice president of the now-banned Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran.
A statement from the center said Mohammadi was sentenced in Tehran's Revolutionary Court on charges including planning crimes to harm the security of Iran, spreading propaganda against the government and forming and managing an illegal group.
Mohammadi already is serving a six-year sentence, which means the new court ruling will extend her time in prison by four years, supporters say.
Mohammadi is close to Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, who founded the Defenders of Human Rights Center. Ebadi left Iran after the disputed re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, which touched off unprecedented protests and harsh crackdowns by authorities.
In a statement, the office of the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was "appalled" by Mohammadi's sentence and said she was denied the specialized medical care she needs.
"Her sentencing is illustrative of an increasingly low tolerance for human rights advocacy in Iran," the UN office said. "We urge the Iranian authorities to ensure the immediate release of Ms. Mohammadi and all those detained for merely exercising their human rights."
Amnesty International said Thursday that Mohammadi's sentence shows how "Iran's abusive criminal justice system is used as a tool of repression."