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Iranian journalist faces 2 years in jail for "spreading propaganda" against government

Marzieh Rasouli is a well-known writer on the arts and culture
Marzieh Rasouli is a well-known writer on the arts and culture

Free Marzieh Rasouli Facebook page

Journalist Marzieh Rasouli was sentenced to two years in prison in Iran and 50 lashes over charges of spreading anti-government propaganda. The sentence was strongly condemned by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

On 7 July 2014, Rasouli, who is an arts and culture writer for the Shargh and Etemaad publications, announced on her Twitter account that she had been sentenced to prison after being convicted of spreading propaganda against the Iranian regime.

She was initially arrested in January 2012 but was later released on bail. One year later, in January 2013, security forces arrested Rasouli together with 18 other journalists working for reformist media outlets.

They were accused of collaborating with Iranian counter-revolutionary news outlets headquartered abroad. Rasouli said that she was convicted of "spreading propaganda against the ruling regime" and "disturbing public order" as a result of her participation in peaceful assemblies and protests in the aftermath of the presidential elections' announcement of results in June 2008.

The journalist added that she had received a call from Evin prison in northern Tehran, and had been informed she had to go to jail to serve her prison sentence. The Court of Appeal upheld the verdict on 2 July 2014.

"The sentence handed down to Marzieh Rasouli is a clear violation and restriction of freedom of expression and peaceful protest. The "spreading anti-government propaganda" charge has been frequently used by the Iranian government to prosecute civil society activists, journalists and political leaders," said ANHRI.

The Arabic Network calls on the Iranian authorities to put an end to the intransigence practiced in implementing the law, and to immediately release journalist Marzieh Rasouli, as well as all who have been arrested and prosecuted on the backdrop of cases of conscience and freedom of expression.

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