Iran sentences journalist to two years in jail

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Iran’s judiciary on Sunday sentenced a journalist to two years in jail for “spreading misinformation” and “insulting” the country’s supreme leader and authorities, his lawyer told state media.

Masoud Kazemi was also banned from “media activities” for two years, the lawyer Ali Mojtahedzadeh said, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

The report did not specify the cause of the charges against Kazemi.

State-run Iran newspaper reported on May 23 that he had been arrested the day before.

The journalist was a reporter for the reformist daily Shargh and also the editor-in-chief of Seda-ye Parsi monthly magazine, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Before the trial, the court set bail at 10 billion rials (about $74,000 at the current open market rate) in the case over charges of “conspiring against national security,” the lawyer said.

“Fortunately this charge was dropped during the trial... (and) considering the current charges in the indictment we hope the bail is reduced and he can be freed,” Mojtahedzadeh added.

Another journalist, Pouyan Khoshhal, was arrested in October over “insults” against Imam Hussein, one of the most revered religious figures in the Shiite Islamic republic.

And in August journalist Mir Mohammad Mir-Esmaili was sentenced to 10 years in prison over insulting Imam Reza, another holy figure in Shiite Islam.

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