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Jailed Iranian Journalist Harassed at Hospital

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Issa Saharkhiz, an Iranian political prisoner currently hospitalized for heart complications, received a surprise visit on Monday from a group of government plainclothes officers, which caused the activist's medical condition to deteriorate.

Issa Saharkhiz

RAHANA, Human Rights House of Iran reports that a group of plainclothes security officers swarmed Saharkhiz's room at Shariati Hospital and began insulting the persecuted journalist and his wife as well as harassing his visitors.

The attack has reportedly worsened Saharkhiz's condition and landed him in the Critical Care Unit.

Saharkhiz is suffering from blood-pressure and kidney conditions as well as sciatica and problems with his back and neck.

He was arrested in July of 2009 in the post-election crackdown on protesters who believed that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won re-election through vote fraud.

Saharkhiz is a prominent journalist who has worked with the state news agency IRNA and served as head of domestic media at the Ministry of Culture during the reformist administration of Mohammad Khatami. In 2010, he was sentenced to three years in jail and a five-year ban from political and media activities.

Iranian journalist begins her six-year jail term

Shirin Khosravani, an Iranian journalist, has begun serving her six-year jail term for charges of "assembly and collusion against national security and propaganda against the regime."

Shirin Khosravani

Saham News reports that her preliminary sentence of six years in jail was confirmed by the appellate court, and now she must serve it.

Azam Afsharian, Khosravaini's mother, had told Radio Farda that her daughter was being pressured to sign a pardon letter in order to escape imprisonment, which she refused to do.

Afsharian also reported that her daughter knew that she could be called out to serve her sentence but her morale was high.

Nazanin Khosravani was arrested at her home in November of 2010 and, after three months in jail, was released on bail. She has done work for several reformist newspapers and news outlets.

After the controversial 2009 presidential elections, which led to widespread protests over allegations of vote fraud, reporters and journalists became one of the chief targets of a government crackdown, so that Reporters Without Borders now refers to Iran as the world's "biggest jail for journalists."

Activist gets six years in jail

The appellate court has confirmed the six-year jail sentence handed to Nargess Mohammadi, the deputy head of Iran's Human Rights Defenders Centre.

Nargess Mohammadi

The Human Rights Defenders Centre website reports that Mohammadi was sentenced to five years in prison for "assembly and collusion against national security." She reportedly had been sentenced to another five years in jail for membership in the Human Rights Defenders Centre, an NGO of lawyers working pro bono on human rights cases, as well as an additional year in prison for "propaganda activities against the Islamic Republic.

The total sentence of 11 years in jail was reduced to six years by the appellate court, according to Mohammadi's lawyer.

Mohammadi was fired from her position at an engineering company and summoned to the judiciary soon after, only to be released on bail.

Moihammadi was severely ill during her arrest and was hospitalized after her release. Her home was also raided in February of 2011, and her attempts to file charges against the perpetrators have been fruitless.

Members of the Human Rights Defenders Centre have been the target of continuous persecution by Islamic Republic authorities. On Sunday, Abdolfattah Soltani, another human rights lawyer linked to the centre, was sentenced to 18 years in jail and a 20-year ban from legal practice.

Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Nobel Peace laureate and one of the founding members of the Human Rights Defenders Centre, has announced that the detained centre members are being pressured to make false statements about the centre and about Ebadi herself, in order to implicate her and their organization in seditious activities.

... Payvand News - 03/06/12 ... --

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