WASHINGTON The United States said on Friday it was "deeply troubled" that Iranian courts had upheld a 16-year prison term against journalist and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi, and it urged Tehran to release her on humanitarian grounds.
"No one should be jailed for peaceful, civic activism," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a news briefing, noting reports indicated Mohammadi's health was "rapidly deteriorating while in prison" and she had been barred from communicating with her two young children.
"Given these circumstances, the imposition of this prison sentence is particularly harsh and unjustified and we call on the government of Iran to provide Mohammadi with adequate medical care and to release her on humanitarian grounds," Toner said.
Mohammadi was arrested last year after launching a campaign to end the death penalty in Iran. She was sentenced to 16 years in prison in May for founding the anti-death penalty movement, which was deemed to be an illegal splinter group.
Mohammadi, a vice chair of the Center for Supporters of Human Rights, had previously been sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring against the Islamic Republic and one year for anti-government propaganda due to her human rights activism.
She had been released on bail for medical reasons but was rearrested last year and ordered to serve out the earlier sentences because of her work campaigning against the death penalty.
(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Next In World News
Mission Complete - Rosetta says farewell with comet crash-landing
BERLIN The Rosetta spacecraft ended its historic mission on Friday, crashing on the surface of the dusty, icy comet it has spent 12 years chasing in a hunt that has provided insight into the early days of the solar system and captured the public's imagination.
Philippines' Duterte likens himself to Hitler, wants to kill millions of drug users
MANILA Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to liken himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on Friday and said he would "be happy" to exterminate three million drug users and peddlers in the country.
Spain's Socialist head suggests will resign on Saturday if loses party vote
MADRID The leader of Spain's Socialists, Pedro Sanchez, suggested on Friday that he could resign if a party assembly votes against him on Saturday and decides to abstain in a future confidence vote to let acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stay in power.