Iranian activist Kouhyar Goudarzi jailed for five yearsBy
Prominent human rights activist was picked up by security forces last July
A court in Tehran has sentenced the prominent activist Kouhyar Goudarzi to five years in jail, an Iranian human rights group says.
The Committee for Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) in Iran reported that Goudarzi, one of its members, had been sentenced to serve his five-year sentence in an internal exile, a prison in the eastern city of Zabol, near the Iranian border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Goudarzi, 26, was picked up by plainclothes security officials last July from a friend’s house in the capital, Tehran. At the time of his arrest, neighbours said he was taken away with two of his friends by people believed to be from Iran’s ministry of intelligence.
He went missing after the incident and authorities refused to acknowledge holding him. According to the CHRR, he was later taken to Tehran’s Evin prison where he spent almost two months in solitary confinement before being allowed to talk to his family for the first time since being held.
Goudarzi’s mother, Parvin Mokhtareh, was also detained in the southern city of Kerman a day after her son’s arrest. She had been accused of insulting the supreme leader, propaganda against the regime and acting against national security.
According to the CHRR, Mokhtareh is still being kept in Kerman’s prison but could be freed after paying an amount of money equivalent of almost £2,000 as a fine. She has been given a suspended sentence of 23 months in jail, it said.
The charges against Mokhtareh stemmed from an “interview she gave when her son was imprisoned in 2010 in relation to his peaceful human rights activities”, Amnesty said.
As an active member of the CHRR, Goudarzi was previously arrested in the aftermath of Iran’s disputed presidential elections in 2009. He was initially accused of moharebeh (waging war against God), which carries a death sentence, but was convicted of “spreading propaganda against the regime” and sentenced to a year in prison. While there, Goudarzi won the National Press Club award for his human rights activities. He was released from prison in December last year, only to be arrested once again in July.
Human rights activists have repeatedly called upon the Iranian authorities to release Goudarzi and his mother.
from Saeed Kamali Dehghan