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.