Last Updated: Wed Mar 07, 2012 14:50 pm (KSA) 11:50 am (GMT)

Iran hands top reformist 4-year jail term: media

Ali Shakouri-Rad, an outspoken critic of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government, spent several weeks behind bars in 2010. He was released on bail in January 2011. (File photo)
Ali Shakouri-Rad, an outspoken critic of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government, spent several weeks behind bars in 2010. He was released on bail in January 2011. (File photo)

Iran has sentenced a leading reformist from a banned political party to four years in prison for allegedly spreading anti-regime propaganda, Iranian media reported on Wednesday.

Ali Shakouri-Rad, a ranking member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front and former lawmaker, was also found guilty by a Tehran Revolutionary Court of “spreading lies,” the government-run Iran newspaper’s website reported.

In addition to the jail term, he is also “banned from political activity for 10 years and is sentenced to 10 years of exile” inside Iran, the report said.

It did not say when the verdict was reached, or when it was forwarded to Shakouri-Rad.

Shakouri-Rad, an outspoken critic of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government, spent several weeks behind bars in 2010. He was released on bail in January 2011, the report said.

Iran has banned two reformist parties, Shakouri-Rad’s party and the Islamic Revolution Mujahedeen Organization, both of which backed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi against Ahmadinejad in the June 2009 presidential election.

The vote gave Ahmadinejad a landslide victory, sparking claims of fraud from the opposition.

Several high-ranking members of both parties were arrested and given long prison terms in a major government crackdown on reformists, lawyers, political activists, human rights defenders and journalists following the election.

On Tuesday, several opposition websites reported that Iran sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani to 18 years in jail for allegedly spreading anti-regime propaganda.

Soltani, a co-founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Center along with Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and others, was arrested in early September, spurring condemnation by Amnesty International and the European Union.

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