Nargess Mohammadi

The appellate court has confirmed the six-year jail sentence handed to Nargess Mohammadi, the deputy head of Iran’s Human Rights Defenders Centre.

The Human Rights Defenders Centre website reports that Mohammadi was sentenced to five years in prison for “assembly and collusion against national security.” She reportedly had been sentenced to another five years in jail for membership in the Human Rights Defenders Centre, an NGO of lawyers working pro bono on human rights cases, as well as an additional year in prison for “propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic.

The total sentence of 11 years in jail was reduced to six years by the appellate court, according to Mohammadi’s lawyer.

Mohammadi was fired from her position at an engineering company and summoned to the judiciary soon after, only to be released on bail.

Moihammadi was severely ill during her arrest and was hospitalized after her release. Her home was also raided in February of 2011, and her attempts to file charges against the perpetrators have been fruitless.

Members of the Human Rights Defenders Centre have been the target of continuous persecution by Islamic Republic authorities. On Sunday, Abdolfattah Soltani, another human rights lawyer linked to the centre, was sentenced to 18 years in jail and a 20-year ban from legal practice.

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace laureate and one of the founding members of the Human Rights Defenders Centre, has announced that the detained centre members are being pressured to make false statements about the centre and about Ebadi herself, in order to implicate her and their organization in seditious activities.