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Iran jails reformist leader for propaganda against the revolution

[JURIST] Iranian authorites jailed a reform movement leader after an appeals court upheld [Kaleme report, in Persian] a one-year-sentence for spreading propaganda against the Islamic republic, according to an opposition website Friday. Hossein Marashi was a leading supporter of Mir Hossein Mousavi who opposed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [JURIST news archive] in the disputed presidential election [JURIST news archive] last June. Marashi was an opposition party spokesman for the Executives of Construction and previously served as head of cultural and tourism under former president Mohammed Khatami. The court also upheld [AFP report] a ban on Marashi from participating in party political activity for six years.

Earlier this month, an Iranian appeals court upheld the death sentence for a 20-year-old student who took part in anti-government protests in December. Mohammad Amin Valian was convicted of Moharebeh, which means waging war against God and is punishable by death under Iranian law. Also in March, the official Iranian press supervisory body banned [JURIST report] reformist daily newspaper Etemaad [media website, in Persian] and moderate weekly magazine Iran Dokht [media website]. In late February, six journalists were released [AP report] from a Tehran prison, while many others remain incarcerated for their reformist views. In February, a joint US-EU statement [JURIST report] condemned Iranian action against protesters and other critics of government policy. The Iranian government responded strongly to opposition following June's disputed elections, prompting additional criticism from rights groups and advocacy organizations.

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