A 16-year sentence handed down to prominent women’s rights activist Narges Mohammadi has been confirmed by an Iranian appeals court, her lawyer said on Wednesday. The 44-year-old human rights lawyer, who has been in and out of jail over the past 15 years, was arrested in 2015 and convicted a year later of “gathering and conspiring with the aim of committing crimes against national security,” with extra time added for “propaganda against the state” and “forming and managing an illegal group.” Mohammadi ran Legham, an organization calling for the abolishment of the death penalty. Her conviction has been felt deeply by Iran’s embattled community of women’s rights activists.
In May, Mohammadi wrote a letter from the notorious Evin prison to PEN International, describing the “psychological torture” and “pain and suffering … beyond tolerance” under which she was kept, with 25 other “female political prisoners,” facing a combined 177 years between them. In June, she went on a hunger striker, after she was prevented from receiving phone calls from her children in France.
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