Report: Iran sentences professor to 6 years

TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian appeals court sentenced a university professor to six years in prison for suspected involvement in the country’s postelection turmoil, local media reported Thursday.

Several pro-reform newspapers, including the Bahar daily, quoted Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, a lawyer for Saeed Leilaz, as saying the appeals court sentenced his client to a six-year jail term. He did not say when the court ruling took place.

Leilaz, an economics professor at Shahid Beheshti University, was convicted of insulting the country’s supreme leader, violating public order and participating in a plan to disturb the country’s security, Tabatabaei said.

Leilaz has been a sharp critic of Iran’s economic policies. He also has worked as a journalist and analyst for local newspapers.

The reports of Leilaz’s sentencing come a day after the pro-reform Web site Parlemannews reported the release of the prominent reform politician Mostafa Tajzadeh.

Tajzadeh, who served as deputy interior minister from 1997-2005, was arrested June 13, a day after the country’s disputed election that won President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second four-year term.

Both Leilaz and Tajzadeh were among more than 100 political figures and activists that Iran put on a mass trial following a crackdown on opposition supporters who claim Ahmadinejad won by fraud.

Tajzadeh’s release comes ahead of the Iranian New Year later this month, when authorities traditionally r… >>>

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