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Amnesty In Action for detained prisoner Narges Mohammadi

    Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 16:57

    By Gloria Nafziger, Amnesty International Canada's Campaigner for Iran

    Where would you spend a Sunday in July?

    On Sunday July 17, the members of Amnesty International’s TriCities Group in Coquitlam BC chose to stand in solidarity with Iranian prisoner of conscience, Narges Mohammadi

    Narges Mohammadi is a human rights defender who received a 16-year prison sentence after she was convicted, following an unfair trial in April 2016, of the charges of “founding an illegal group”, “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security”, and “spreading propaganda against the system”. She is already serving a six-year prison sentence from a previous case. Her convictions are based solely on her human rights work.

    Narges is critically ill. She suffers from a pulmonary embolism (a blockage in the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs) and a neurological disorder that has resulted in her experiencing seizures and temporary partial paralysis. She needs ongoing specialized medical care, which she cannot receive in prison, as well as daily medication.

    On 27 June 2016, Narges started a hunger strike to protest the judicial authorities’ persistent refusal to allow her telephone contact with her nine-year-old twins. Her children had to move abroad one year ago to live with their father, as there was nobody to look after them in Iran after her arrest in May 2015. Since then, she has been allowed only one phone call with them.

    On a day when many families go for a walk in the park, the TriCities Amnesty members spoke out for Narges and her family. They gathered signatures on petitions and shared Narges’ story with members of their community. This act of solidarity is so important for the families of prisoners who will know that they have not been forgotten.

    3 ways you can help #FreeNarges!

    Gloria Nafziger is Amnesty International Canada's Campaigner for Iran. Follow her on Twitter @refugeescanada