Iran News ...


9/16/07

Iran Overturns Death Sentence For MKO Member

September 15, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Tehran has overturned the death sentence of a former Mujahedin Khalq Organization member who has been held in an Iranian prison in Iran for six years.


A cell in Tehran's Evin prison (ISNA)

Saeed Masuri was condemed to death in 2001 for his alleged role in an MKO "military mission" aimed against the Iranian government.

Masuri had lived in Norway since 1988, but traveled to Iran in 2001. He was arrested before he was able to carry out his alleged mission.

Masuri's cousin, Manuchehr Masuri, told RFE/RL's Persian-language service, Radio Farda, that officials at Tehran's Evin prison had announced they were reducing his sentence.

"Last week when his mother went to visit him at the prison, officials told her that his death sentence has been reduced to life imprisonment," Masuri said, adding that his cousin was "very happy" about the news.

"He has returned to life. Now he and his family are requesting that he be transfered from Section 209," he said.

Section 209 is reportedly under control of Iran's Intelligence Ministry.

Amnesty International and other rights groups in the past have accused prison officials of subjecting Masuri to torture and solitary confinement during his imprisonment.

Amnesty has also called on Tehran to arrange a retrial for Masuri that conforms to international standards.

The MKO is a militant Iranian opposition group that has been based in Iraq since the early 1980s. The group is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department and the European Union.

(Radio Farda)


Copyright (c) 2007 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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