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Iran – Repression and Imprisonment of Iranian Kurdish Human Rights Defenders

26 was informed of the recent sentencing of Soma Pourmohammadi, Serveh Pourmohammadi, Seivan Ebrahimi and Edris Menbari, members of the Nozhin socio-cultural association, to eleven years prison sentence each. The association raises awareness of the legal and cultural rights of ethnic groups in Iran and promotes cultural education by holding classes in Kurdish in various cities. Thejudicial actions against its members are believed to be done in retaliation to their legitimate human rights work in Iran.

The members and directors of the Nozhin socio-cultural association, who have chosen to communicate only in Kurdish in protest against denial of the their rights to teach in their mother tongue, have been targeted with prosecution and subjected to humiliation during the different stages of their arbitrary trial, leading to long prison sentences.

Soma Pourmohammadi, Serveh Pourmohammadi, Seivan Ebrahimi, and Edris Menbari were each sentenced to ten years in prison on charges of “forming groups and association with the intention of disturbing national security.” Additionally, Soma and Edris received one-year sentences for “disturbing the public order” due to their participation in protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. has also received alarming news concerning the case of Jina Modares Gorji, a woman human rights defender sentenced to a total of twenty-one years in prison by Branch 1 of the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court. As was the case for the members of the Nozhin socio-cultural association, the main charge against the defender was of ”forming groups and associations with the intention of disturbing national security”.

Jina Modares Gorji is a woman human rights defender, bookseller, and feminist podcaster and blogger in Sanandaj, in the Kurdistan province of Iran. Her human rights work includes advocating for women in the Kurdish community, girls’ rights, and socio-cultural rights via holding book clubs and writing blogs. She has been arrested several times since September 2022, following the death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini in the custody of the Iranian morality police.

The charges against her are related to her peaceful human rights activities, which include speaking to the media, participating in international conferences and organising activities to promote women’s rights in the Kurdistan province in Iran. partner Front Line Defenders urges authorities to cease the judicial harassment of all human rights defenders in Iran, ensure their indiscriminate access to justice, and guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Iran can carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including judicial harassment.