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Iranian Children Plead For Activist Mother’s Release

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The twins of imprisoned leading Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi have pleaded for her release in a heartbreaking video published by the opposition website

Mohammadi, the deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, co-founded by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, was arrested on May 5 at her Tehran home and taken to the notorious Evin prison.

“My mother does not belong in jail,’ says Mohammadi’s 8-year-old son Ali in the video. “My mother has the right to freedom. I have the right to see my mother.”

He adds: “I pray every day for mother to be released from prison; the day she [was taken away], I didn’t sleep at all.”

His twin sister, Kiana, has a similar message:

“My mother doesn’t belong in jail, I can’t live without my mommy,” she says. “When I was four years old, [security] agents took my father away, now it’s my mother’s turn.”

She says she doesn’t understand why the authorities jail political activists.

“That’s why my daddy left this country; otherwise we would all be together now, leading a happy life.”

WATCH: Narges Mohammadi’s Children Plead For Her Release (In Persian, No Subtitles)
Mohammadi’s husband, well-known political activist Taghi Rahmani, chose exile in France in 2011 after being repeatedly threatened, arrested, and jailed by the Iranian authorities.

His wife, Narges Mohammadi, remained in Iran with Kiana and Ali.

Mohammadi, 43, has been at the forefront of peaceful protests and campaigns on behalf of political prisoners and other victims of human rights abuses. She has also been involved in efforts to end the death penalty in the Islamic republic.

Rahmani told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda on May 6 that the authorities told the family that Mohammadi had been taken to prison to serve a six-year prison term she was facing over her human rights work.

Mohammadi spent a few months in jail in 2012 before being released on bail for health reasons.

Two-hundred-and-fifty Iranian activists and intellectuals, including Ebadi, have called for her immediate release.

–Golnaz Esfandiari