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Iranian journalist Ali-Reza Jabari released after more than 18 months in prison

Reporters Without Borders welcomed the release on 14 October 2004 of Ali-Reza Jabari, contributor to several newspapers, after more than 18 months in prison.

The worldwide press freedom organisation said that international pressure and a campaign by Chilean author Isabel Allende were responsible for the decision to free Jabari who, despite being more than 60 years old and suffering heart trouble, received 174 lashes in detention.

Isabel Allende had lobbied the highest authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran to secure the ailing journalist's early release, said Reporters Without Borders.

Jabari was sentenced on 19 April 2003 to four years in prison, 253 lashes and a fine of six million Rials (about 1,000 euros) for "drinking and distributing alcoholic drinks, adultery and incitement to immoral acts", a charge regularly used against secular figures. Jabari is an outspoken commentator who writes for the monthly Adineh and a member of the Iranian Writers Association

... Payvand News - 10/19/04 ... --

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