Iran General NewsIran students still in jail: lawyer

Iran students still in jail: lawyer

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AFP: Three Iranian students were still in jail on Saturday after failing to raise bail after being charged with insulting the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, their lawyer said. TEHRAN, Iran (AFP) — Three Iranian students were still in jail on Saturday after failing to raise bail after being charged with insulting the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, their lawyer said.

“The revolutionary court has set an 800-million-rial (85,000 dollars) bail for each of them for the accusation of insulting the leader,” Mohammad Ali Dadkhah told AFP.

“It is unlikely that they can come up with that much today,” he said of the Amir Kabir University students who were set to be freed on Saturday after spending nearly eight months in jail.

Ehsan Mansouri, Majid Tavakoli and Ahmad Ghassaban have been acquitted of their most serious charges such as insulting Islam that had seen them originally sentenced to jail terms of up to three years.

Dadkhah had said on Wednesday that the three could be bailed on a surety of 80 million rials (8,400 dollars) each for the only outstanding charge against them, which is insulting the leader.

He did not comment on why the revolutionary court had increased the bail.

According to the lawyer, the three were also given four-month terms by the Tehran public court for slandering Iran’s Basij volunteer militia — sentences they would not need to serve for already being detained since May.

The trio had been accused of publishing anti-Islamic images in four student reformist newspapers. They deny the charges, accusing political foes of planting the images in the newspapers to discredit them.

The exact nature of the images was never made public.

Their detention was a major grievance of colleagues who have held regular campus demonstrations at Tehran’s main universities in recent months.

Western human rights groups, including New York-based Human Rights Watch, have repeatedly called for their release.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was famously heckled during a speech last year to students at Amir Kabir, one of the most prestigious institutions in Iran which has long been a hotbed of political activity.

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