Journalist Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Her Facebook Posts

Journalist Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Her Facebook Posts

Published by on November 21, 2015

Solmaz-IkdarThe journalist Solmaz Ikdar has been sentenced to three years in prison for “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the state.” The charges were based on content she posted on her Facebook page.

The trial, presided over by Judge Moghisseh, took place on October 20, 2015, and Ikdar’s sentence was issued on November 10, 2015, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Ikdar, 33, has spent her journalism career writing for several reformist publications, including Shargh, Bahar, Farhikhtegan, and Mardom-e Emrooz.
Her sentencing takes place within the context of an intensified campaign by hardliners against journalists and reformists in Iran. During recent weeks, several Iranian journalists have beenarrested by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization.

Authorities in Iran have also cracked down particularly hard on any dissenting opinion expressed on social media, a platform they have come to fear due to its widespread use among Iranian youth.

The journalist’s sentence reflects the broader campaign underway by hardliners in Iran to assert their dominance in the domestic sphere in the post-nuclear deal environment.
Ikdar was previously arrested in 2008, given a six-month suspended prison sentence, and expelled from university for “propaganda against the state.”

She had tried to leave Iran in June of this year but was told by a border official at the airport that she was banned from traveling abroad.

“She was going to leave the country to study abroad but Mr. Ghotbi, the Assistant Prosecutor of Tehran, told her she was banned from traveling because she intended to join Voice of America’s television broadcasting team. But he has not shown any proof to back up his accusation.


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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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