Iran opposition leader sentenced to six years in prison for post-election protests

[JURIST] Former Iranian deputy foreign minister Mohsen Aminzadeh has been sentenced [ISNA report, in Persian] to six years in prison for his participation in protesting last year's contested Iranian presidential election [JURIST news archive], state-run Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) [media website, in Persian] reported Monday. Aminzadeh was a leading member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front and a supporter of Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Moussavi [JURIST news archive] during the June 2009 election. He was an outspoken critic of the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. According to ISNA, Aminzadeh was convicted by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran of conspiring to disturb security and spreading propaganda. The Iranian government has yet to officially confirm Aminzadeh’s sentence.

Aminzadeh is one of the highest-ranking opposition officials to be convicted for protesting the highly disputed presidential election. Last month, Iran's Prosecutor-General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei called for sedition trials [JURIST report] against leaders of protests following the presidential election. Earlier this month, Fars News Agency [official website] reported [JURIST report] that Iran will soon execute nine people for their roles in the post-election protests. The nine protesters were charged with the capital crime of moharebeh, which means waging war against God. Two others were executed [JURIST report] for the same crime in January. Mousavi has condemned the hangings, which he views as being aimed at deterring protesters from taking to the streets on February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution [BBC backgrounder].

 

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