Iran has sent Zahra (also Zara) Mohammadi, a Kurdish political prisoner and director of the Nozhin Socio-Cultural Association, on temporary leave on 26 June.

Reportedly, the activist requested to be allowed to visit her father who is hospitalised in the intensive care unit.

Prison authorities, the Islamic Revolutionary Court, and the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, approved her request, sending her on a 10-day leave.

On 8 January, Mohammadi presented herself at the Enforcement of Judgements Office at the Sanandaj courthouse.

She was then arrested and transferred to the Juvenile Detention Centre in Sanandaj to serve a five-year prison sentence.

Mohammadi is the director of the Nozhin Socio-Cultural Association. Her activities include teaching the Kurdish language and literature in recent years.

The Nozhin Socio-Cultural Association, with the official permission of the Ministry of Interior, has been holding Kurdish language classes in various cities in Kurdistan for the past few years.

This civic organisation has also been active in other cultural fields, as well as in organising campaigns for helping flood victims, helping people during the Corona pandemic etc.

Security forces arrested Mohammadi in Sanandaj on 23 May 2019. She was interrogated for about six months for her activities and was pressured to make forced confessions.

On 2 December 2019, she was released on a bail of 700 million Iranian Tomans – nearly 28,000 USD.

On 16 February 2020, Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj – presided over by Judge Saeidi – sentenced Mohammadi to 10 years in prison. It charged her with “forming groups and societies with the aim of disrupting national security”.

However, in October 2020, Branch 4 of the Court of Appeals of Sanandaj dropped the sentence to five years.

Mohammadi’s lawyers appealed against the verdict, requesting a retrial through the application of Article 477 of the Iranian Islamic Criminal Code.