Iran Human RightsIran weblogger jailed for 'insulting' supreme leader

Iran weblogger jailed for ‘insulting’ supreme leader

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AFP: An Iranian weblogger arrested in a crackdown against online dissent has been sentenced to two years behind bars for “insulting the supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his lawyer told AFP Monday. Mojtaba Saminejad “still faces charges of insulting the prophet and spreading curruption, which could cost him more jail terms,” lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh said. AFP

TEHRAN – An Iranian weblogger arrested in a crackdown against online dissent has been sentenced to two years behind bars for “insulting the supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, his lawyer told AFP Monday.

Mojtaba Saminejad “still faces charges of insulting the prophet and spreading curruption, which could cost him more jail terms,” lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh said.

Seifzadeh said his client had been aquitted of acting against national security and insulting the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He said he would appeal the Revolutionary Court’s verdict.

Saminejad, 25, was based in the clerical capital of Qom. His weblog, or online diary, mainly dealt with sensitive religious and political issues.

In Iran, questioning the absolute power of the supreme leader is illegal.

Jailed since September 2004, Saminejad was picked up along with some 20 other Internet writers and technicians working for pro-reform websites.

The hardline judiciary decided to pursue charges against four of those detained in the sweep.

Some of those arrested made detailed confessions to the judiciary before publicly retracting them after their release. The judiciary subsequently faced allegations of extracting the confessions by duress.

Since 2000, the judiciary has shut down scores of mostly pro-reform newspapers and other publications in a crackdown that has seen dozens of journalists arrested.

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