At 51 years old, Narges Mohammadi has spent half his life in and out of prison. From her cell he has received the news that she has been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, for her tireless work for women’s rights. It is also from prison, with the limitations that this space implies, where she continues to denounce the constant human rights violations committed by the Iranian authorities. Ten months ago she was sentenced to ten years, eight months in prison and 154 lashes for “crimes against national security” for reporting hundreds of cases of torture and sexual violence in police custody.
The trial took place in the midst of protests against the regime after the death of the young Mahsa Jina Amini, arrested for not wearing a veil in public spaces. The court sentenced Mohammadi in a trial that lasted just five minutes and in which the activist did not have access to a lawyer. Due to the unfair nature of the sentence, Mohammadi decided not to appeal as a form of protest.
The persecution of the authorities against Mohammadi increased after the publication of her book on prison brutality in the country, titled ‘White Torture: Interviews with Iranian Prisoners’, as well as a documentary on the isolation practices imposed in many prisons in the country. and that the activist herself has suffered on various occasions.
In August, another court sentenced the activist to another year in prison for “propaganda” for speaking about the human rights situation in Iran with Javaid Rahman, the United Nations rights rapporteur. Mohammadi’s “propaganda” was actually about the denunciation with data and testimonies of sexual violence and “systematic” abuse in the arrests of protesters after the death of Mahsa Jina Amini.
The death of the young woman in police custody, arrested for not wearing the Islamic veil correctly in public spaces, sparked a wave of protests for women’s rights and against the regime, shouting “Woman, life and freedom”a proclamation that Mohammadi constantly uses in his fight on the street and from prison.