A spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] Friday condemned [press release] Iranian authorities for the sentencing of Nargis Mohammadi, an anti-death penalty activist. Mohammadi is currently being held in Evin Prison, which is located in Tehran. The UN rights office expressed concerns for Mohammadi’s health, saying, “[she is] believed to have serious medical conditions and has reportedly not been granted adequate access to the specialised medical care she needs.” Mohammadi was sentenced to 16 years in prison. The spokesperson said Mohammadi’s detention is expressive of a growing trend in Iran against tolerance for human rights.
Much international pressure has been directed toward Iran in recent years for its use of the death penalty. In March UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, expressed continued concern regarding Iran’s alarming rate of juvenile executions [JURIST report] and other flaws in the justice system. In February Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] criticized Iran’s justice system after 40 men were sentenced to death [JURIST report]. In January AI reported on the many juvenile offenders [JURIST report] on death row in Iran.