Human rights activist Narges Mohammadi with her children before her imprisonment in 2015

The mother of Narges Mohammadi has written of the human rights activist’s forced separation from her children since 2015.

Ozra Bazargan said in an open letter:

This is the fifth autumn we are spending without my daughter by our side….Her children Kiana and Ali have not seen their mother for more than four years. They ask me, “Is mom feeling well? Why doesn’t she call us anymore?”

The message was published by Center for the Defenders of Human Rights, where Mohammadi was Vice President, and translated by the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Mohammadi’s 12-year-old twins live in France with their father, political activist Taghi Rahmani. Iranian authorities have barred Mohammadi from calling them.

Imprisoned for Defending Human Rights

Mohammadi was first arrested in 1998 for her defense of human rights, spending a year behind bars. She was held in 2010, during the regime’s repression of mass protests after the disputed 2009 Presidential election, and released in July 2012 for health reasons.

The activist was seized in May 2015 on new charges. A year later, she was handed a 16-year sentence for membership in the Center for Defenders of Human Rights Center, “assembly and collusion against national security”, and “propaganda against the state”. She will be eligible for release after 10 years.

Her mother Bazargan noted in the open letter:

During her long incarceration, Narges has only been granted furlough for three days and undergone three serious operations and returned to prison without any recuperation in the hospital.

For a long time, she was denied permission to see doctors [outside prison] and doesn’t even have access to her medication.

Bazargan explained, “What compelled me to express my pain in this letter is my inability to give an answer to Kiana and Ali when they ask about their heartbroken mother.”

She asked:

What religion, which ideology or belief approves denying a mother hearing the voices of her children whom she longs to see?…This kind of treatment of a woman behind bars is so heartless, malicious and vindictive that words fail to do justice.

Our years of suffering and the reign of rulers will some day come to an end and history will bear witness.