Iranian Human Rights Activists Under Attack; New Precedents Set
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Branch One of Ahvaz Revolutionary Courts has sentenced journalist Abolfazl Abedini Nasr to 11 years in prison. According to HRANA, the freelance journalist who formerly worked with the Human Rights Activists News Agency, was found guilty on charges of “relations with enemy states” (5 years), “Membership in the Human Rights Activists News Agency” (5 years), and “propagation against the regime through interviewing with foreign media” (1 year).

According to HRANA Web site, one of the pieces of evidence suporting the charges of “Membership in the Human Rights Activists news Agency” was Abedini’s business card which showed him as “Public Relations Manager, Human Rights Activists News Agency.” This is the first time membership in this human rights organization has faced with a five year prison sentence and this increases concern that more such heavy sentences for other human rights activists currently in prison will follow.

The sentence was served to Mohammad Oliaeefar, Abedini’s attorney, on March 29, 2010, though it was issued in mid-March 2010. This charge is related to Abedini’s previous case file which started upon his June arrest and subsequent release on bail of $300,000.

Abolfazl Abedini was arrested again on March 2, 2010 in Ramhormoz in Khuzestan Province, he was transferred to solitary confinement at Evin Prison’s IRGC Ward 2-A, and after more than a month, his attorney has not been informed of his new charges.