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Iran reformist jailed five years over vote unrest: lawyer

TEHRAN - Iran has sentenced a reformist politician to a five-year prison term for provoking street riots after the country’s disputed June presidential election, his lawyer said on Sunday.

The official IRNA news agency reported that the lawyer, Ali Reza Jafarian, planned to appeal against the verdict handed to his client Hedayat Aghaie.

Aghaie was accused of “disrupting the public order by provoking people to riot, propagating against the Islamic republic, saying that the votes were rigged and acting against national security,” said Jafarian.

The lawyer added that Aghaie was still being tried for some other charges such as bribery and insulting regime officials.

Aghaie is a high-ranking member of the reformist body Executive of Construction, which is seen close to former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and had supported defeated candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Mousavi has repeatedly charged the June 12 poll was rigged to return Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power.

Iran has already sentenced to death three other people who were detained in the post-vote unrest.

Massive street protests broke out in Tehran following Ahmadinejad’s re-election for a second four-year term.

About 4,000 people were arrested during the demonstrations, and 140 of them including senior reformers and journalists have been put on trial for seeking a “soft” overthrow of the regime and for inciting protests.

Under Iranian law, convicts may appeal their sentences, which must be upheld by both the appeals court and the supreme court before they are carried out.

Reformist websites say the government continues to arrest its opponents, and there are also strong calls by various hardliners for the arrest and trial of Ahmadinejad’s main challengers in the poll, Mousavi and cleric Mehdi Karroubi.

Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=§ion=international&xfile=data/international/2009/October/international_October1247.xml


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Documents, Imprisonment, Right to Protest, Due Process