Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: December 05 • Printable version    

Seven Iranian political prisoners released

Evin Prison

Seven Iranian political prisoners were released last night and prominent journalist, Emaddedin Baghi, was recalled back to Evin Prison today.

Kaleme website reports that the seven prisoners were “pardoned” by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.

The released prisoners carried imprisonment sentences ranging from three to one year. They were released on the recommendation of head of the judiciary Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani to the Supreme Leader on the Muslim occasion of Eid-e Qadir.

Last week 19 students also received pardons from the Supreme Leader on the occasion of Eid-e Qadir.

Following the disputed victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Islamic Republic has arrested thousands of protesters in order to quell the protests. A year an a half after the widespread wave of protests, the government has been engaged in a balancing act, arresting activists and releasing some on occasion, to keep the turmoil at bay.

The disputing candidates of the 2009 elections, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have repeatedly called for the release of all political prisoners.

Iranian journalist, Emaddedin Baghi

Emaddedin Baghi, previously detained journalist, was summoned back to prison today. Baghi, who is also head of the Association for the Defence of Detainee Rights, was sentenced to one year in prison and five years ban from journalistic as well as social activities.

Legal and financial aid offered to families of detainees was regarded as crime in Baghi’s trial. He was also convicted for carrying out an interview with the late dissident cleric, Ayatollah Montazeri which was aired on Persian BBC website.

In another report, Jaras writes that today another journalist and blogger, Saeed PourHeydar was sentenced to five years in prison. He is charged with “propaganda activities against the regime, blasphemy and questioning Islamic principles, disturbing public order by participating in illegal gatherings, assembly and collusion against national security and insulting the president."

Iranian journalists have been under severe pressure by the government as the authorities have focused on the media in their attempts to the silence the protests.

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