The mother of jailed Iranian human rights defender Narges Mohammadi has called on President Hassan Rohani to intervene in the case of her daughter, who has been on hunger strike for two weeks.
Mohammadi, one of Iran's top rights activists, has reportedly refused to eat since June 27 to protest a refusal by prison officials to allow her to speak to her Paris-based children on the phone.
"In this country, being a mother is a crime," writes Mohammadi’s mother, Ozra Bazargan, in an open letter addressed to Rohani.
Bazargan called on Rohani to work to allow Mohammadi to speak to her 9-year-old twins.
She added that, as an Iranian citizen and a mother, she expects Rohani to intervene to so that "the life of my daughter is not endangered further.”
Amnesty International says Mohammadi suffers from several medical conditions and the hunger strike "critically endangers her health and life."
Mohammadi, the deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), which was co-founded by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, was recently sentenced to 16 years in prison after being convicted of charges connected to her human rights activism.
The sentence was condemned by rights groups and the UN's high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein.