The German-Iranian architect Nahid Taghavi has been sentenced to ten years and eight months in prison for “propaganda against the state” in Tehran.

Her daughter Mariam Claren confirmed this on Wednesday via Twitter.

As Mariam Claren reports in a petition published on in which she calls on the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to campaign for the release of her 66-year-old mother, Nahid Taghavi was arrested on October 16 last year in her Tehran apartment and has since been detained in Evin Prison.

Fridtjof Küchemann

Editor in the features section.

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Nahid Taghavi was interrogated for a total of a thousand hours without legal counsel, mostly, as Amnesty International reports, about her involvement as a student and her résumé. She had not been accused of any specific criminal offenses before the start of the trial. It was only four days before the planned first day of trial before Revolutionary Court 26 in Tehran at the end of April this year that a lawyer had access to the files without being able to speak to his client. The trial was then postponed to June 13th.

On May 16, after seven months in solitary confinement, Nahid Taghavi was transferred to the women's section of the prison, the daughter reports in a supplement to her petition. As she told the daily newspaper Die Welt in autumn, her mother had lived in Cologne since 1983 and had been commuting between Germany and Iran with the authorities for fifteen years without any problems. Above and beyond what is customary among exiled Iranians, she was not politically active, neither organized nor part of a group.

Amnesty International believes that Nahid Taghavi is being used as leverage by Iran. The International Society for Human Rights confirms that Iran is pursuing political goals by imprisoning people with dual nationalities: "Iran needs pressure to ensure that Germany does not follow the US and its sanctions policy, that the European markets remain open for business and that the nuclear deal is not endangered." Like Nahid Taghavi, the British-Iranian labor rights activist Mehran Raoof was sentenced to ten years and eight months in prison.