The high-ranking members of the European Parliament have written to the Islamic Republic ambassador in Brussels to express concern regarding Nargess Mohammadi and 30 student activists jailed in Iranian prisons.
Barbara Lochbihler, the head of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, and Tarja Cronberg, the chair of Parliament’s delegation for Iranian affairs, write that Mohammadi and the student activists have been arrested for exercising their civil rights and for defending free speech, all of which is protected under the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory.
The letter notes that reliable news reports from Iran show that Nargess Mohammadi, a respected journalist and human rights defender, has been jailed despite her critical health condition. The letter emphasizes that, according to international law, the Islamic Republic is responsible for the health and safety of prisoners.
The two European Parliament officials say they expect to be informed about the situation of these individuals and they want assurances from Islamic Republic authorities that they are being treated humanely and in accordance with international agreements.
In April, Iran’s largest student organization released the names of 30 student activists currently serving time in Islamic Republic prisons, kicking off a campaign called “Be the Voice of Jailed Students.”
The campaign has gained the support of Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and many international human rights and student groups.
Mohammadi’s imprisonment has also been condemned by more than 400 Iranian social and women’s rights activists, who have urged the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights to make every effort to secure her release.
Mohammadi, who is serving a six-year sentence for her human rights activities, is reportedly suffering from muscle seizures and periodic paralysis while in jail.