Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Four Journalists Sentenced to Prison

Four journalists from the Iranian northern province of Gilan were sentenced to prison and ‎other fines by the provincial judiciary. Their names have reported as, Arash Bahmani, ‎Babak Mehdizadeh, Koohzad Esmaili and Ali Anjamrooz. Bahmani received 16 months, ‎Mehdizadeh and Esmaili received 4 months each plus a fine.‎

The 11th branch of the Gilan Province Appellate court heard the appeal of Arash ‎Bahmani, Babak Mehdizadeh and Koohzad Esmaili, and upheld the sentence of the ‎provincial court which provided that based on the ruling of branch 106 of the criminal ‎court of Rasht on Aban 22nd, the three defendants were sentenced to 4 months of prison ‎for “publishing lies with the aim of creating anxiety in the public mind.” In addition to ‎this, Arash Bahmani was also sentenced to 1 year of prison on charges of “insulting ‎Imam Zaman” (the 12th Shiite Imam considered in occultation).‎

Lat year coinciding with President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Gilan province, Arash ‎Bahmani, Babak Mehdizadeh and Koohzad Esmaili, all members of the Advar Tahkim ‎Vahdat student organization in Gilan were arrested. Mehdizadeh and Esmaili were ‎released after 5 days but Bahmani stayed for another seven days. While the suspects were ‎released, a court last November sentenced Bahmani to 16 months of prison and the other ‎two to 4 months each.‎

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