Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad was cleared of "insulting the prophets" by a court in Tehran on 28 June, for which he faced the death penalty, but must still serve a two-year sentence for insulting the Supreme Guide.
Reporters Without Borders repeated its call for the release of the young blogger, who has been held in custody since 12 February 2005.
Lawyer for Mojtaba put testimony before the judges from two conservative ayatollahs that the articles posted by his client could not been interpreted as insulting to the prophets.
The blogger had been sentenced to two years in prison at an earlier hearing before another Tehran court for "insulting the Supreme Guide". He has so far not been allowed to appeal against this ruling.
Two other webloggers and cyberjournalists, Mohamad Reza Nasab Abdolahi and Mojtaba Lotfi, have also been imprisoned since February 2005.
Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about the fate of 25-year-old blogger Mojtaba Saminejad, who has been sentenced to two years in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court for "insulting the Supreme Guide" and who is due to be tried soon on a separate charge of insulting the prophets, which carries a possible death penalty.
The press freedom organisation urged all bloggers to mobilise on behalf of the young blogger, who was arrested on 12 February.
"All blogosphere messages of solidarity are welcome," the organisation said. "We know that these message reach the prisoners and help put pressure on the Iranian authorities, especially in the run-up to the presidential election. It is vital for people to talk about Mojtaba."
Mojtaba's lawyer, Mohammad Saifzadeh, said the two-year sentence was handed down after a hearing on 23 May in which his client was not allowed to speak freely. To intimidate him, the authorities had him accompanied in court by the police officers who interrogated him in prison.
He will appear in court again on 22 June to be tried on a charge of "insulting the prophets and the holy imams." This extremely serious accusation could result in his being found guilty of apostasy, which carries the death penalty under article 512 of the Islamic criminal code.
Various initiatives are under way on the Iranian Internet in support of Mojtaba. Internet users have dedicated a blog to him in both English (http://mojtaba-samienejad.blogspot.com) and in Farsi (http://en-mojtaba-samienejad.blogspot.com). Some 50 Iranian bloggers are openly backing him. The Penlog bloggers group has also firmly condemned his conviction (see http://penlog.blogspot.com/2005/06/blog-post_05.html).
Sign the petition set up by the Committee to protect bloggers : http://committeetoprotectbloggers.blogspot.com/2005/05/media-fast-for-mojtaba-today.html
... Payvand News - 7/11/05 ... --