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Iran women's rights activist sentenced to over 4 years for role in January protests

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An Iranian women’s rights activist said on Saturday she has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for protesting after the government admitted to downing a Ukrainian civilian airliner in January.

Bahare Hedayat said on Twitter that she has received four years in prison for partaking in the January protests and an additional eight months for “propaganda against the regime” and her tweets.

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This is not the first time Hedayat has been sentenced to prison. She was arrested after the disputed presidential elections in 2009 and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on charges of “insulting” the president and the supreme leader and “acting against national security.”

Hedayat was released in 2016 after serving her prison sentence.

This time round, Hedayat was arrested at anti-government protests in January.

Iranians took to the streets in January to protest against the regime after it admitted to shooting down a Ukrainian airliner, killing all 176 people on board, having previously denied responsibility for several days.

Including Hedayat’s sentence, the Iranian judiciary has so far sentenced 20 protesters arrested during the January protests to a total of 23 years and one month in prison, Radio Farda estimated.

Meanwhile, Iran is yet to try any military personnel for their role in downing the plane.

In April, an Iranian lawmaker praised the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for downing the plane, claiming it had “come under America’s control.”

He added that contrary to officials claims, no arrests have been made in relation to the incident.

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