Iran Human RightsU.S.-Iranian reporter jailed in absentia in Iran

U.S.-Iranian reporter jailed in absentia in Iran


Reuters: Iran has jailed a U.S.-Iranian reporter in her absence for one year on charges including acting against national security, a news agency said on Monday. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has jailed a U.S.-Iranian reporter in her absence for one year on charges including acting against national security, a news agency said on Monday.

Parnaz Azima was one of four Iranian-Americans detained on visits to Iran in 2007 in cases that stoked tension between old foes Tehran and Washington. They were later released on bail and at least two of them left the Islamic Republic.

Azima was detained for cooperating with “anti-revolutionary media” after she came to Tehran in January last year to see her ailing mother. She flew out of Iran in September after her passport, which had been confiscated, was returned.

Her lawyer told the ISNA news agency she was sentenced to jail in absentia on charges including spreading propaganda against Iran’s Islamic government system and acting against national security, the ISNA news agency said.

Lawyer Mohammad Hossein Aghasi said she had been acquitted of other charges including making illegitimate money and keeping a satellite dish, which is illegal in Iran.

Azima was based in Prague where she worked for Radio Farda, the Persian language service of U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Voice of America.

Another Iranian-American citizen, academic Haleh Esfandiari, also left Tehran in September after being freed on bail following more than three months in detention on spying charges.

Two other Iranian-Americans, peace activist Ali Shakeri and academic Kian Tajbakhsh, were released on bail in September but it was not clear whether they also left the country at that time.

Political analysts saw the detention of U.S.-Iranians as part of a broader crackdown on dissent when Tehran is under Western pressure over its nuclear program. Washington sees the program as a bid to acquire nuclear bombs. Iran denies it.

(Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Charles Dick)

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