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Iran court sentences 3 progressive activists to prison

[JURIST] A Tehran Revolutionary Court [official website, in Persian; GlobaLex backgrounder] on Monday sentenced three prominent progressive activists to six years in prison in connection with protests following the controversial re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] in June. According to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) [official website, in Persian], Mohsen Mirdamadi, Mostafa Tajzadeh, and Davood Soleimani were convicted of spreading propaganda against the government. The men are high-ranking officials of the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) [party website], a pro-democracy reformist political party that supported opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi [BBC profile] in the disputed election. In addition to the jail time, the court also banned them from participation in political activity for 10 years.

The Iranian government has arrested hundreds in a crackdown on anti-government activity in the wake of protests over Ahmadenijad's re-election, drawing criticism from international human rights groups and advocacy organizations. Iranian authorities jailed prominent Iranian journalist Mohammad Nourizad and reform movement leader Hossein Marashi [JURIST reports] on similar charges in April and March, respectively. Also in March, an Iranian appeals court upheld [JURIST report] the death sentence of 20-year-old student Mohammad Amin Valian, who took part in anti-government protests in December. In February, the US and EU jointly issued a statement condemning [JURIST report] Iran's action against protesters and political dissenters.

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