Iran Human RightsBlogger Mojtaba Saminejad gets two-year prison sentence

Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad gets two-year prison sentence

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Reporters Without Borders: Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about the fate of 25-year-old blogger Mojtaba Saminejad, who has been sentenced to two years in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court for “insulting the Supreme Guide” and who is due to be tried soon on a separate charge of insulting the prophets, which carries a possible death penalty. Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about the fate of 25-year-old blogger Mojtaba Saminejad, who has been sentenced to two years in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court for “insulting the Supreme Guide” and who is due to be tried soon on a separate charge of insulting the prophets, which carries a possible death penalty.

The press freedom organisation urged all bloggers to mobilise on behalf of the young blogger, who was arrested on 12 February.

“All blogosphere messages of solidarity are welcome,” the organisation said. “We know that these message reach the prisoners and help put pressure on the Iranian authorities, especially in the run-up to the presidential election. It is vital for people to talk about Mojtaba.”

Mojtaba’s lawyer, Mohammad Saifzadeh, said the two-year sentence was handed down after a hearing on 23 May in which his client was not allowed to speak freely. To intimidate him, the authorities had him accompanied in court by the police officers who interrogated him in prison.

He will appear in court again on 22 June to be tried on a charge of “insulting the prophets and the holy imams.” This extremely serious accusation could result in his being found guilty of apostasy, which carries the death penalty under article 512 of the Islamic criminal code.

Various initiatives are under way on the Iranian Internet in support of Mojtaba. Internet users have dedicated a blog to him in both English (http://mojtaba-samienejad.blogspot.com) and in Farsi (http://en-mojtaba-samienejad.blogspot.com). Some 50 Iranian bloggers are openly backing him. The Penlog bloggers group has also firmly condemned his conviction (see http://penlog.blogspot.com/2005/06/blog-post_05.html).

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