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Iranian Journalist Left Iran for Medical Treatment, Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Talking to Foreign Media

Source: Radio Farda Newsroom

An appeal court in Tehran passed a one year prison sentence for Mohssen Sazgara, a reformist journalist, for endangering the Islamic Republic's National Security and disturbing the public's mind. He has rejected the courts judgment and declared it invalid.

The appeal court in Tehran claims that Mr. Sazgara committed these offences by writing for the reformist press and talking to foreign media. Mr. Sazgara, who went on hunger strikes twice while in prison in Iran, was allowed to travel to London for treatment. He has a heart condition and his eye sight was impaired following two hunger strikes lasting respectively 21 and 58 days.

In an interview with Farda, Mohsen Sazgara tells Sharan Tabari in London that he does not accept his sentence and will contest it: "If arrested, on my return to Iran, I will immediately start another hunger strike."

Mr. Sazgara said: "My opposition to the Islamic Republic is through democratic means...I am a legal and non-violent member of the opposition... All I called for through my writings and my interviews with Foreign Radios was a referendum to be held on the Islamic Republic's constitution."

Mr. Sazgara believes that for the past seven years the Islamic Republic's constitution has stifled the Reform Movement in Iran and should therefore be put to the vote.

... Payvand News - 9/13/04 ... --

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