During a ceremony in Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris on 2 May 2016, Paris mayor Ms. Anne Hidalgo awarded the medals to four RSF-supported journalists designated “information heroes”: Mr. Can Dündar (Turkey), Mr. Antoine Kaburahe (Burundi), Mr. Lotfullah Najafizadeh (Afghanistan), and Ms. Narges Mohammadi (Iran).
Ms. Mohammadi has been arbitrarily detained since May 2015, and is currently serving a 6-year prison sentence for charges related to her human rights work in Iran. She suffers from muscular paralysis and lung complications and had to be transferred from prison to a hospital in October 2015, where she was handcuffed to her bed and guarded around the clock.
In a message read to the ceremony in Paris, where her exiled husband Mr. Rahmani received the medal on her behalf, Ms. Mohammadi pointed out the difficulties of journalism in Iran and said: “I have been tried three times in 12 years, for my writings on political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, my activities in DHRC and again for protesting human rights violations. It is impossible [for journalists] to protest discrimination against women, against the death penalty and the execution of juveniles in the Iranian press. That would lead to the closure of the newspapers. Critics state their views through the foreign media and then are tried for spreading propaganda against the system."
Our organisations again call on the Iranian authorities to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Mohammadi, and to release her immediately and unconditionally. We also call for an end to all harassment - including at the judicial level - against all journalists and human rights defenders in Iran and around the world.