Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, June 11, 2007

Banned rallies yield arrests in Iran

Iranian judges have sentenced two journalists for their coverage of banned protests in 2005, Reuters reported on Sunday.

In Sanandaj, Jalal Ghavami and Saeed Saedi were sentenced to three years and two and a half years, respectively, for their attendance at two illegal rallies in 2005. The court ruled that the two journalists were “acting against the system and national security by participating in illegal gatherings… (and) propaganda activity against the system,” according to Iran’s ISNA news agency.

The lawyer for the two journalists reaffirmed that their attendance was due to their profession rather than their political affiliation. “My clients attended the gatherings as reporters and just for reporting,” he said.

In May, the same court sentenced a woman activist to six years in prison for attending the same protests. The rally was organized for the purpose of protesting the killing of a Kurdish man, an incident that increased tensions in Iranian Kurdistan.

Amnesty International last year called for Ghavami and Saedi’s release. “If imprisoned, Amnesty International believes both men would be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and movement,” the group said.

For the full article, click here.

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