The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned a 13-year prison sentence and 74 lashes imposed on journalist Maziar Bahari in absentia by a Tehran Revolutionary Court on Sunday.
Newsweek correspondent Bahari, who was held in detention for four months on anti-state charges in 2009 received a sentence of five years in prison for “congregation and mutiny with the intent to commit crimes against national security,” four years for “collecting and keeping confidential and classified documents,” one year for “propagation against the regime,” two years for “insulting the [Supreme] Leader,” six months for “insulting the President,” and one year and 74 lashes for “disruption of public order.”
Bahari, since leaving Iran, has been part of an international campaign “Our Society Will Be a Free Society,” advocating the release of imprisoned Iranian journalists and writers, and has made numerous statements and appearances on their behalf.
CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program co-ordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem said:“Bahari’s trial bears absolutely no resemblance to a legal process. The sentence is arbitrary and punitive and is unrelated to the initial charges, which were themselves falsified. The conviction is a reminder to us that the dozens of Iranian journalists who remain in jail are at the mercy of a cruel and vindictive regime.”