Journalist Reyhaneh Tabatabaie sentenced to one year in prison
On Monday, opposition website Kaleme reported that Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court had sentenced Tabatabaie, a journalist for the reformist Shargh newspaper, to a year in prison for her alleged role in “weakening the pillars of the Islamic Republic” and “propaganda against the state.”
According to the verdict Tabatabaie had advocated free elections and called for the abolition of the Guardian Council’s vetting power, reforms within the Council itself, press freedom, free parties, the release of “rioters and seditionists,” and curbing the military’s involvement in political and economic activities. The ruling claimed she had been influenced by the “deviant” ideas of imprisoned reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh.
Tabatabaie’s other “offences” included the publication of news about political prisoners arrested following the disputed 2009 presidential election, participating in memorial services held for those slain during the post-election crackdowns, lighting candles for them on Vali Asr Avenue, and taking part in sit-ins in front of Evin Prison in solidarity with the families of political prisoners. All of this reportedly constituted “propaganda against the state.”
Tabatabaie can appeal the court’s decision.
The journalist was initially arrested by the Revolutionary Guards on 12 December 2010. She spent the next 36 days in solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s ward 2A.
She has worked with the Irane Farda magazine, the Sina news agency, and reformist newspapers such as Kaleme Sabz, Bahar and Fahikhtegan. She is currently a political correspondent for Shargh daily and a member of its editorial board.
Tabatabaie was informed of her jail term during the Nowruz holidays. Judge Moghiseh, notorious for handing down harsh rulings in cases involving dissident figures, presided over her trial. In April 2011, the European Union imposed a visa ban and asset freeze on Moghiseh for the “long prison sentences” he had issued “during unfair trials for social, political activists and journalists and several death sentences for protesters and social and political activists.”