Middle East

Iran crackdown: Reformist Ali Shakouri-Rad jailed

Abdolfattah Soltani talks to leading Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi Image copyright AFP
Image caption Abdolfattah Soltani founded a human rights organisation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi

A leading member of Iran's reformist movement has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Ali Shakouri-Rad was convicted of spreading lies and propaganda against Iran, state-run news website INN said.

The opposition Kaleme website said on Tuesday that two people affiliated with the Centre for the Defenders of Human Rights had also been jailed.

Abdolfattah Soltani and Narges Mohammadi will serve 18 and six years in prison respectively.

Mr Shakouri-Rad was a member of the banned Islamic Iran Participation Front, which backed the opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 presidential election.

He will also reportedly be banned from political activity for 10 years and will not be allowed to live in Tehran for 10 years after his sentence.

The Kaleme website, which is affiliated to Mr Mousavi, said Mr Soltani, a prominent human rights lawyer, was sentenced to 18 years for spreading propaganda.

Mr Soltani, who co-founded the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC) with the Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, was arrested in September. The move was condemned by the European Union.

According to the website Narges Mohammadi, the deputy head of the Centre, has been jailed for six years by an appeals court after being sentenced to 11 years last September.

The BBC's Iran correspondent James Reynolds says tightening restrictions have made it almost impossible for opposition activists to operate in the Islamic republic

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