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Afshari terms new sentence as `politically motivated'

Tehran, Jan 20, IRNA -- The former head of the student group of the Office to Foster Unity (OFU) Ali Afshari has described a new one-year prison term that has been handed to him as `politically motivated and unfair'.

The Persian-language `Tosse'e' on Monday quoted Afshari as saying in a letter that the sentence had been the price he had to pay for championing the rights of the students during the 1997 Tehran University "Dorm Incident".

Afshari stressed that he welcomes the new conviction, stressing that it had been a slight cost for the high aspirations of Iran's student movement.

The former OFU leader has been sentenced to another one-year imprisonment following a complaint lodged by the former police chief.

The verdict has been recently upheld by the Supreme Court.

Ali Afshari has been held since April 30, 2000 for his participation in a controversial Berlin conference, denounced as anti-revolutionary in the Islamic Republic as well as other charges.

Aghajari's lawyer says death sentence not revoked yet

Tehran, Jan 20, IRNA -- The defense lawyer of the death convict academic Hashem Aghajari has rejected reports that the death sentence against his client has been revoked, the press reported here on Monday.

The Persian-language daily `Toss'e' quoted Saleh Nikbakht as saying that the Judiciary had yet given no verdict to him in that connection, stressing that the final studies into Aghajari's case are yet to be carried out.

Nikbakht said that he never blamed the Judiciary for the performance of the judge investigating Aghajari's case, stressing that most judges considered the ruling against the academic as `not positive'.

Aghajari has been sentenced to death by a court in Hamedan, west of Iran, for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a speech there in which he called for religious restructuring and criticized the Islamic principle of emulating religious leaders.

Aghajari's case has been referred to the Supreme Court for appeal following an action lodged by his defense lawyer to the effect.

... Payvand News - 1/20/03 ... --

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