Campaign

Press Release

August 5, 2021

Dual Nationals Nahid Taghavi, Mehran Raouf Sentenced to nearly 11 years in Iranian Prison

The Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners NOW urges action

August 5, 2021

For Immediate Release
Contact: Dolly Veale 202 556 3906
press@freeiranspoliticalprisonersnow.org
Twitter @IranPrisonEmerg
Interviews available

Political prisoners Nahid Taghavi and Mehran Raouf have been sentenced to 10 years and 8 months each: ten years for “membership in an illegal group” and 8 months for “propaganda against the regime.”

Their sentences were handed down August 3 in a Tehran court behind closed doors, with no court hearing nor any measure of due process resembling a trial. It is unclear if the defendants were even present.

Sentences of six years and eight months were also issued for Somayeh Kargar and Bahareh Soleimani, and three years and four months was imposed on Nazanin Mohammadnejad.

“The verdict is what we expected. The fight will go on until they are free” said Mariam Claren, daughter of Nahid Taghavi, who, from her home in Germany, has been waging a relentless campaign to free her mother.

Nahid Taghavi is a dual German-Iranian citizen. Mehran Raouf is a dual British-Iranian citizen. Both were illegally seized by the Islamic regime while visiting Iran. They should never have been arrested. Yet both have been held, isolated, and repeatedly interrogated in Iran’s notorious Evin prison since October 2020. Given their age (mid 60s) and chronic health issues, their long sentences are untenable and could effectively become death sentences.

The threat to Nahid Taghavi’s life is blatant in the face of her being Covid positive for several weeks. Her health is rapidly deteriorating and she is being denied medical care. Another nine women in her ward who tested positive have all been issued medical release. What is this if not outright torture by the Islamic regime of Ms. Taghavi, and torment of her family and supporters? The health of Mehran Raouf has not been verified since an aborted court hearing on June 13 when the lawyers had no access to case files nor to the defendants.

“These unjust sentences must be protested by all justice loving people worldwide” says Dolly Veale of the International Emergency Campaign, “Any hope for reduced sentences through an equally sham appeal process is illusory. This is more so given the charges against them are murky.”

This sentencing is coinciding with the publication of a bold Emergency Appeal by our campaign in The New York Review of Books.

At this critical hour, we seek to shine a bright light of denunciation on this criminal act by the IRI and its incoming president Ebrahim Raisi, a proven butcher of Iran in his direct role of the 1988 massacres of political prisoners.

The German and British governments have not done all that is possible to get them released from the IRI, including the immediate medical release of Nahid Taghavi.

Political prisoners Nahid Taghavi and Mehran Raouf have been sentenced to 10 years and 8 months each: ten years for “membership in an illegal group” and 8 months for “propaganda against the regime.”

Their sentences were handed down August 3 in a Tehran court behind closed doors, with no court hearing nor any measure of due process resembling a trial. It is unclear if the defendants were even present.

Sentences of six years and eight months were also issued for Somayeh Kargar and Bahareh Soleimani, and three years and four months was imposed on Nazanin Mohammadnejad.

“The verdict is what we expected. The fight will go on until they are free” said Mariam Claren, daughter of Nahid Taghavi, who, from her home in Germany, has been waging a relentless campaign to free her mother.

Nahid Taghavi is a dual German-Iranian citizen. Mehran Raouf is a dual British-Iranian citizen. Both were illegally seized by the Islamic regime while visiting Iran. They should never have been arrested. Yet both have been held, isolated, and repeatedly interrogated in Iran’s notorious Evin prison since October 2020. Given their age (mid 60s) and chronic health issues, their long sentences are untenable and could effectively become death sentences.

The threat to Nahid Taghavi’s life is blatant in the face of her being Covid positive for several weeks. Her health is rapidly deteriorating and she is being denied medical care. Another nine women in her ward who tested positive have all been issued medical release. What is this if not outright torture by the Islamic regime of Ms. Taghavi, and torment of her family and supporters? The health of Mehran Raouf has not been verified since an aborted court hearing on June 13 when the lawyers had no access to case files nor to the defendants.

“These unjust sentences must be protested by all justice loving people worldwide” says Dolly Veale of the International Emergency Campaign, “Any hope for reduced sentences through an equally sham appeal process is illusory. This is more so given the charges against them are murky.”

This sentencing is coinciding with the publication of a bold Emergency Appeal by our campaign in The New York Review of Books.

At this critical hour, we seek to shine a bright light of denunciation on this criminal act by the IRI and its incoming president Ebrahim Raisi, a proven butcher of Iran in his direct role of the 1988 massacres of political prisoners.

The German and British governments have not done all that is possible to get them released from the IRI, including the immediate medical release of Nahid Taghavi.

The Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners NOW urges action:

Circulate the Emergency Appeal printed in The New York Review of Books.

Send message of protest to Iran’s government demanding Nahid Taghavi’s immediate release: c/o Embassy of Iran to the European Union; Address: Avenue Franklin Roosevelt No 15,1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, or Telephone Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Tehran: +98 21 6115 0000

Call on German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and German government to immediately demand Nahid’s release and her freedom: Address: German Foreign Ministry 11013 Berlin; Tel: + 49(0) 3018 17-0; Fax: + 49 (0) 3018 17-3402; Twitter: @GermanyDiplo, @HeikoMaas; Email German Ambassador to Iran Bernd Erbelat: info@teheran.diplo.de

Call on the British Ambassador to Iran: Rob Macaire CMG, to immediately demand Mehran's release and his freedom.
Twitter: @HMATehran, British Embassy, 172 Ferdowsi Avenue, Tehran, 11316-99813, Iran. Contact Prith Patel, Secretary, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF, +020 7219 3528  Twitter: https://twitter.com/pritipatel

Call on Mr. Javaid Rehman, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, to urgently take up Nahid and Mehran's cases: Email sr-iran@ohchr.org and javaid.rehman@brunel.ac.uk; Tel:+44 (0)1895 267226

This Appeal has been published in the Summer issue of The New York Review of Books:

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