April 13, 2024

Iran jails opposition ex-IFF president for six years: lawyer

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safahiAFP – TEHRAN,  Iran has sentenced senior reformist and former MP Mohsen Safai Farahani, arrested after the disputed June presidential election, to six years in jail, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Safai Farahani, who has been detained since June 20, was accused of “acting against national security, propaganda against the system, insulting officials and spreading lies,” lawyer Hooshang Pour-Babai told the state broadcaster.

He said the reformist had been sentenced to six years in jail for the first two charges and “acquitted of insulting officials and spreading lies for lack of evidence,” adding there would be an appeal.

Safai Farahani was rounded up along with scores of prominent reformists and journalists shortly after the June 12 poll which gave hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term amid widespread allegations of fraud.

The government accused its reformist opponents of seeking to undermine the regime by instigating mass street protests against Ahmadinejad.

Several have been sentenced to hefty prison terms. Some have been released on bail pending possible appeals.

A veteran industrialist, Safai Farahani, 61, is one of the leaders of Iran’s largest reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, which strongly backed Ahmadinejad’s leading challenger in the vote, former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Safai Farahani also served as an MP between 2000 and 2004, and as deputy economy minister and head of Iran’s football federation under the reformist presidency of Mohammad Khatami between 1997 and 2005.

Meanwhile, a little-known student activist, Majid Dorri, was also sentenced to 11 years in jail, opposition website Rahesabz said.

Dorri received 10 years imprisonment after being found guilty of links with the Islamic republic’s main exiled opposition, the People’s Mujahideen organisation, the website said.

He got another year for “acting against national security by participating in illegal gatherings,” it added.