Narges Mohammadi, physicist, prominent human rights activist, and recipient of the 2018 Andrei Sakjarov Prize of the American Physical Society, has been sentenced in Iran to eight additional years in prison and more than 70 lashes. The ruling came after a trial that lasted only five minutes. She has also been banned from outside “communications” for the next two years.
January 31, 2022
Mr. Ebrahim Raisi, President
Islamic Republic of Iran
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Dear President Raisi:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues throughout the world.
This letter concerns the physicist and engineer Narges Mohammadi, vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) and recipient of the 2018 Andrei Sakharov Human Rights Award from the American Physical Society.
Ms. Mohammadi has been sentenced to eight additional years in Gharchak Prison, where she has been imprisoned almost continuously since 2009. The most recent extension of her sentence was imposed after a trial whose duration was only five minutes. The current extension of her sentence is to be served in addition to her previous sentences and extensions.
She has also been sentenced to receive more than 70 lashes.
In addition, according to reports, Ms. Mohammadi has been banned from engaging in “communications” with persons outside the prison for the next two years. Moreover, she has been subjected to torture while in prison: For example, she has been dragged through corridors of broken glass.
Ms. Mohammadi’s punishments appear to be retribution for her continuing activism, including her hunger strikes to protest the imposition of the death penalty in Iran, the killing of protestors by state police, and the execution of the wrestler Navid Afkari.
The nonviolent nature of Ms. Mohammadi’s alleged crimes does not justify the punishments she has received. Indeed, it is Ms. Mohammadi who has been subjected to violence, both by guards within the prison and with her sentence of 70 lashes.
We respectfully ask that Ms. Mohammadi be granted access to her family and her attorneys, that her case be reconsidered, and that she be released immediately and unconditionally.
Thank you for your attention to this serious matter. We will
closely follow developments in the case.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Majid Takht Ravanchi
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue, 34th floor
New York, New York 10017
Phone: (212) 687-2020
Fax: (212) 867-7086
Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, North West
Washington, District of Columbia 20520
Phone: (202) 647-4000
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Imam Khomeini Street, Imam Khomeini Square