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UN Experts Outraged By Jailing Of Iranian Rights Activist

Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi (file photo)

A group of United Nations officials have expressed outrage about the conviction and sentencing of a leading human rights activist in Iran on charges that include membership in a campaign for the abolition of the death penalty.

Narges Mohammadi, the deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) co-founded by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on May 18.

Her sentence comes on top of a six-year-prison sentence she already is serving.

Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said on May 20 that there is "absolutely no reason why Narges Mohammadi should spend one more hour in prison, let alone 16 years."

Shaheed called on Iran's President Hassan Rohani and other Iranian officials to do everything they can to ensure Mohammadi is "immediately and unconditionally released from prison and allowed to access adequate and timely medical treatment."

Mohammadi suffers from a critical neurological condition.

Experts from the UN's Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council on May 20 also urged Tehran to release all journalists and rights defenders who have been "arbitrarily and unlawfully arrested" in Iran.

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