AFP: An Iranian journalist arrested last year after returning from a conference abroad has been sentenced to three years in jail, the judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday. TEHRAN, May 15, 2007 (AFP) – An Iranian journalist arrested last year after returning from a conference abroad has been sentenced to three years in jail, the judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday.
Ali Farahbaksh, who specialised in economic affairs, worked for the now banned reformist Yas-e No newspaper and the centrist Shargh, which started to reappear earlier this week after serving a nine-month ban.
“He was given a verdict of three years in jail,” judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi told reporters, adding that he was being allowed regular visits with his family.
Jamshidi said he could not specify exactly what charge Farahbaksh had been sent to prison for. “I do not have this information available at the moment,” he said.
The Iranian journalists association said in January that Farahbaksh had been arrested in November after returning from a trip to Thailand where he attended a meeting of civil and social groups.
Officials denied he was being held in solitary confinement, describing his cell as a “room with one person”.
Iran’s judiciary keeps a tight rein on the press. It has closed scores of titles and detained dozens of journalists since new reformist papers emerged under the rule of former president Mohammad Khatami.
However this week also marked the return to the streets of both Shargh, the standard-bearer of moderates, and the centrist Ham Mihan which was allowed to publish again after a seven-year ban.