By Alyxandra Stanczak
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East
TEHRAN, Iran – On Thursday, July 29, 2010, Emadeddin Baghi, acclaimed author and human rights activist, was sentenced to one year in prison for “acting against [Iran’s] national security through the spreading of propaganda against the regime,” “disclosing classified documents about [Iran’s] prisons,” “visiting political prisoners’ families and providing them with financial and legal help,” and “having relations with human rights organizations abroad.” Along with his jail sentence, Baghi was sentenced to a five-year ban from political and media activities.
Considered to be a highly influential human rights activist in Iran, Baghi won the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for his campaign against the death penalty. Additionally, Baghi is an award-winning author and journalist. Six of Baghi’s twenty five books are banned in Iran. His efforts in Iran have largely focused on founding and heading the Association for the Defense of Detainee Rights.
Baghi was arrested on December 28, 2009 and released on bail June 23, 2010 after 180 days in jail awaiting his trial. Before his release, Baghi spent 150 of his 180 days in solitary confinement. After his first arrest in 2000 which led to a two-year prison sentence, Baghi has spent over four-and-a-half years out of the past ten years in prison.
In addition to Baghi’s one-year sentence, he now faces charges for an interview he participated in with the late Cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who was extremely influential in the reformist movement and spoke out publically against the controversial reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Baghi is one of many human rights activists in Iran targeted by Teheran. Other human rights activists have been arrested, detained, and charged in Iran, including seven members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, Saeed Kalanaki, Saeed Jalalifar, Shiva Nazar Ahari, Koohyar Goodarzi, Saeed Haeri, Parisa Kakayi and Mehrdad Rahimi.
For more information, please see:
Radio Free Europe – Iranian Journalist, Rights Activist Given Prison Term – 29 July 2010
Eurasia Review – Award-Winning Iranian Journalist Receives Jail Term – 26 July 2010
RTT News – Acclaimed Human Rights Activist Sentenced in Iran to One Year – 26 July 2010
Sydney Morning Herald – Iran jails award-winning journalist – 26 July 2010
Amnesty International – Prisoner of Conscience – 7 January 2010