Eight Facebook Users Sentenced To 123 Years In Jail In Iran

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An Iranian court has sentenced eight people to a
combined 123 years in prison for various charges
including insulting the country’s supreme leader
on
Facebook. The sentencing is the latest in a recent
crackdown on Internet freedom in the country.
The eight, who were reportedly all Facebook users,
were
arrested last year by the Cyber Unit of the
Revolutionary Guard. The Revolutionary Court in
Tehran
doled out prison sentences ranging from seven to
20
years for charges of blasphemy, propaganda
against the
Iranian state, spreading lies, and insulting Iran’s
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The
arrests were
first reported by the opposition news agency
Kaleme.
For Iranian human rights experts, the sentences are
unusually harsh and could signal an intention to
warn
other Iranian netizens.
“The ruling […] is clearly intended to spread fear
among
Internet users in Iran, and dissuade Iranians from
stepping outside strict state controls on
cyberspace,”
wrote the International Campaign for Human Rights
in
Iran in a statement .
One of the eight, a British woman named Roya
Saberinejad Nobakht, received a sentence of 20
years in
prison. Her husband said in April that she had
been
detained in Iran over comments she had made to
friends
on Facebook and in online chat, calling Iran’s
government too controlling and “too Islamic,” as
reported at the time by the Manchester Evening
News.
Gissou Nia, the executive director of the The Iran
Human
Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), noted that
the
Judge mistakenly applied “a new and controversial
provision” of the nation’s penal code and gave
harsher
sentences than would have otherwise been
allowed.
“20 years for posting on Facebook? For goodness’
sake.
This is an extraordinarily harsh and
disproportionate
punishment,” she told Mashable in an email.
“Unfortunately for her, the case was reviewed by
Judge
Moghiseh, a notorious Revolutionary Court judge
who has
had a long history of handing down extremely
harsh
sentences to activists, lawyers and journalists.”
The British government acknowledged the arrest in
a
statement to Mashable, but declined to answer
more
specific questions.
“We are aware that a British national has received
a
custodial sentence in Iran,” a spokesperson for the
U.K.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office said. “We are
seeking
to establish the full facts and are following up the
case
with the Iranian authorities.”
Little is known about the others arrested, aside
from
their names and respective sentences: Amir
Golestani, 20
years; Masoud Ghasemkhani, 19 years and 91
days;
Fariborz Kardarfar, 18 years and 91 days; Seyed
Masoud
Seyed Talebi, 15 years and one day; Amin
Akramipour, 13
years; Mehdi Reyshahri, 11 years; and Naghmeh
Shahisavandi Shirazi, 7 years and 91 days.
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One Response

  1. cant imagine how dey will look like when dey are out of jail.

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