Shirin Ebadi

Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi is calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to do all it can to bring about the release of Iranian activist Nargess Mohammadi.

The Centre for Human Rights Defenders website reports that Ebadi has written a letter to Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner of Human Rights, to inform her of Mohammadi’s plight.

The Iranian human rights activists was arrested last month, according to Ebadi, and the next night she was transferred to solitary confinement, where she’s been held ever since.

Mohammadi was summoned by the judiciary on April 21 to serve out her six-year prison sentence for “assembly and collusion against national security, membership in the Centre for Human Rights Defenders and propaganda activities against the Islamic republic.”

A preliminary sentence of 11 years in prison was reduced to six years in the appellate court in her letter, Ebadi expresses grave concern for Mohammadi’s health because, following her previous arrest in 2010, she had fallen victim to periodic muscular paralysis and had to be hospitalized.

Shirin Ebadi writes: “It appears that Nargess Mohammadi’s arrest and her transfer to solitary confinement is a reaction to her husband’s exit from the country and, in effect, Nargess is being held hostage.”

Ebadi urges immediate action from the High Commissioner of Human Rights in view of Mohammadi’s dire health, which she fears may lead to a permanent disability.

Ebadi’s letter has also been forwarded to Ahmad Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.