Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: September 18 • Printable version    

More heavy prison terms for Iranian activists

Majid Tavakoli - Shiva Nazar-Ahari

Shiva Nazar-Ahari, Iranian human rights activist, was sentenced to six years in prison and exile to Izzeh, in Khuzestan Province; while the appeals court upheld the eight and a half year sentence handed earlier to Iranian student activist, Majid Tavakoli.

Kaleme website reports that Nazar-Ahari, who was sentenced for the charge of “rebellion against God, activities against national security, disturbing public order and propaganda against the regime", will appeal her sentence.

Nazar-Ahari was released this month on a $500,000 bail after nine months behind bars. She was also arrested earlier in June 2009 after the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and released after three months.

In the meantime Daneshjoo news reports that the eight and a half year sentence of prominent student activist, Majid Tavakoli was confirmed by the appeals court.

According to this report, Tavakoli is sentenced to five years for “activities against national security”, one year for “propaganda against the regime”, two months for “insulting the supreme leader” and six months for “insulting the president.”

Tavakoli is also barred from political activity and travel abroad for five years.

Majid Tavakoli had been arrested three times in recent years. He was first arrested three years ago for publishing a caricature of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, in their university newsletter.

The students announced at the time that the publication was not put out by them and the charges were fabricated.

Tavakoli was released after a year and seven months in prison and was acquitted of the charges.

He was later arrested in 2008 in a commemoration ceremony for Mehdi Bazargan, Iran’s interim prime minister for the Islamic Republic, and released after 115 days.

The member of Iran’s main student organization, Tahkim-e Vahadat, was arrested again on National Student Day in the major protests that followed the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.

Iranian authorities attempted to ridicule him by releasing pictures of Tavakoli dressed in women’s clothing and stating that he was trying to escape the university premises in disguise.

The release of the pictures led to a campaign of support for Tavakoli from numerous men posting their own pictures covered with head-scarves and chadors on the web saying: “We are all Majids.”

One of the main targets of crackdown on election protests has been the universities, which the Islamic Republic claims is one of the major sources of the recent unrest.

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