Iran Human RightsIran sentences journalist to death

Iran sentences journalist to death

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New York Times: Iran has sentenced a journalist to death, accusing him of being a member of a terrorist group in the country’s southeast, the judiciary said Tuesday. The New York Times

By NAZILA FATHI
Published: February 21, 2008

TEHRAN — Iran has sentenced a journalist to death, accusing him of being a member of a terrorist group in the country’s southeast, the judiciary said Tuesday.

A judiciary spokesman, Alireza Jamshidi, told reporters that the journalist, Yaghoob Mirnehad, had been sentenced to death on charges of “membership in the terrorist Jundallah group as well as crimes against national security,” according to The Associated Press. The sentence can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Mirnehad, who is an ethnic Baluchi, was a journalist in southeastern Iran for Mardomsalari, a newspaper based in Tehran. He was arrested with his brother and four others in May. The other five men were released within three months, while Mr. Mirnehad was kept in prison.

Jundallah, a militant Sunni group whose name means God’s Brigade, has claimed responsibility for attacks on Iranian troops in the southeastern province of Sistan va Baluchestan. One member, charged with being involved in a bombing that killed 11 members of the Revolutionary Guards, was hanged early last year.

The number of executions in Iran has risen steeply in the past year. Iranian news agencies reported this week that 12 people were hanged Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing the total number of executions to 48 in 2008. Two of the twelve, men accused of murder, were hanged in the central province of Isfahan on Tuesday, several Iranian newspapers reported.

The other 10 people were executed Wednesday. Six of them were executed in Zanjan Province, west of Tehran, on charges of “armed robbery, causing fear, terror and insecurity,” the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported. The six men were responsible for an armed robbery of a jewelry store, the agency said.

Four other people, who were charged with murder, were executed at the Evin prison in Tehran.

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