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Islamic Republic tightens grip on political prisoners

05/05/11 Source: Radio Zamaneh

Abolfazl Abedini Another year has been added to the 11-year prison term handed to Iranian journalist and human rights activist Abolfazl Abedini. The Iranian Human Rights News Agency (RHANA) reports that an extra year was added to Abedini's sentence for "propaganda against the regime."

Abedini is already serving an 11-year sentence for the same charge.

Abedini was arrested in the summer of 2009 and released on bail that November. He was arrested again in December of 2009 and transferred to the notorious section 2A of Evin Prison.

He was later transferred to Ahvaz prison in Southwestern Iran where he was denied any visiting or telephone privileges. According to several reports by human rights activists, Abedini has been subjected to beatings in jail.

Daneshjoo News reported that three jailed student activists -- Baharaeh Hedayat, Majid Tavakoli and Mehdieh Golrou -- also had their sentences increased by six months for issuing public messages from jail.

In the meantime Islamic Republic authorities continue arrest and sentencing of more opposition figures.

Hassan Youseni a lawyer and son of a former minister in the reform government was sentenced to three years in prison and a five-year ban from practicing law. He is charged with participation in the February 14 demonstrations of 2011 which was called by the opposition leaders Mousavi and Karroubi in solidarity with the recent Arab uprisings in the region and for writing a series of articles. His sentence has been sent to the appeals court.

Jaras opposition website reports that Mohammad Saber Abbasian deputy of the Islamic Iran Participation Front's youth branch in Shiraz was finally allowed a furlough after 18 months in jail.

While he had been under arrest since March of 2010, he was just recently brought to trial and sentenced to five years in prison.

On the other hand, Daneshjoo news reports that Loghman Ghadiri another Shiraz student activist has been in police custody since March of 2010 and no clear charges have yet been brought up against him. His arrest warrant has been extended for the third time keeping him in jail in an undetermined state.

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