News / 12.05.2016

Iran: three journalists face heavy jail sentences

Three Iranian journalists who were arrested in November 2015 have been handed long jail sentences after the court in Tehran found them guilty of charges including spreading propaganda against the ruling system, conspiring against officials and insulting authorities.  

Ehsan Mazandarani, editor-in-chief of newspaper Farhikhtegan, was sentenced to 7 years in jail while Iran newspaper’s journalist Afarin Chitsaz to 10 years, and Saman Safarzaee, who works for the monthly Andisheh Pouya for 5-years.

The Union of Journalists in Finland condemns the convictions which continue a dangerous pattern of press freedom’s violations in the country, says Juha Rekola, the Unions International Ombudsman.  

According to the IFJ sources, 19 journalists are currently held in prison in Iran. Contrary to President Hassan Rouhani’s election promises to create a more secure working environment for journalists and the media, press freedom still remains under threat in the country.

According to the Journalism is Not a Crime project, which aims to document the persecution of journalists in Iran, at least 58 journalists, bloggers and cartoonists are currently in prison, nine are awaiting trial and 41 are in exile.

See also a Guardian article on the sentences.

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