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Iran: Prominent Reformists Abtai and Atrianfar Handed Prison Sentences

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iranian judiciary has handed sentences to the two top reformist detainees of the post-election events, Mohammad Ali Abtai and Mohammad Atrianfar. Reformist websites report that Mohammad Ali Abtai has been sentenced to six years imprisonment. This is a preliminary sentence and could be appealed in the appeals court.

Abtai (left) and Atrianfar press conference after the mass trial

Abtahi was released on bail of about $700,000 today, the judiciary said, after reports he had been sentenced to six years in jail, Reuters reported. The official IRNA news agency quoted Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi as saying Mohammad Ali Abtahi was freed "temporarily." Under Iranian law, people sentenced to jail can post bail and be out of prison while they are appealing.

Mr. Abtai's charges have been listed in his indictment as "gathering and acting against national security, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, disturbing public order by joining illegal gatherings on June 15."

Mr. Abtai was former president Mohammad Khatami's vice president and in the June presidential elections, he supported Mehdi Karroubi, another reformist candidate who along with MirHosein Mousavi have challenged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in the elections claiming the elections were rigged.

The allegations of fraud in the elections has thrown Iran into a crisis for the past five months where nationwide mass protests against Ahmadinejad's government have been violently confronted by security forces who have attacked demonstrators and arrested over four thousand people.

Mohammad Ali Abtai and Mohammad Atrianfar are two of the most prominent reformists who were arrested in the early days of the protests and were also tried in the televised mass trials of post-election detainees which provoked the outrage of the public and human rights groups for their lack of appropriate legal provisions.

What was repeatedly referred to as "show trials" took the form of detainees recanting their allegations of vote fraud and incriminating themselves in conspiratorial schemes against the government. The opposition maintains that all the so-called confessions in these trials were coerced.

Mr. Atrianfar has also received a sentence which has not been announced yet. However, his lawyer has declared that he has "20 days to appeal the sentence."

... Payvand News - 11/22/09 ... --

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