Blogger cleared of “insult to prophets” but still guilty of “insulting Supreme Guide”

first_img Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 IranMiddle East – North Africa Iran is stepping up pressure on journalists, including foreign journalists, in run-up to election Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad was cleared of “insulting the prophets” by a court in Tehran on 28 June, for which he faced the death penalty, but must still serve a two-year sentence for insulting the Supreme Guide. Reporters Without Borders repeated its call for the release of the young blogger, who has been held in custody since 12 February 2005. to go further June 9, 2021 Find out more Two other webloggers and cyberjournalists, Mohamad Reza Nasab Abdolahi and Mojtaba Lotfi, have also been imprisoned since February 2005.__________________________________________________________________________________07.06.2005Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad gets two-year prison sentenceReporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about the fate of 25-year-old blogger Mojtaba Saminejad, who has been sentenced to two years in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court for “insulting the Supreme Guide” and who is due to be tried soon on a separate charge of insulting the prophets, which carries a possible death penalty.The press freedom organisation urged all bloggers to mobilise on behalf of the young blogger, who was arrested on 12 February. “All blogosphere messages of solidarity are welcome,” the organisation said. “We know that these message reach the prisoners and help put pressure on the Iranian authorities, especially in the run-up to the presidential election. It is vital for people to talk about Mojtaba.”Mojtaba’s lawyer, Mohammad Saifzadeh, said the two-year sentence was handed down after a hearing on 23 May in which his client was not allowed to speak freely. To intimidate him, the authorities had him accompanied in court by the police officers who interrogated him in prison.He will appear in court again on 22 June to be tried on a charge of “insulting the prophets and the holy imams.” This extremely serious accusation could result in his being found guilty of apostasy, which carries the death penalty under article 512 of the Islamic criminal code.Various initiatives are under way on the Iranian Internet in support of Mojtaba. Internet users have dedicated a blog to him in both English (http://mojtaba-samienejad.blogspot.com) and in Farsi (http://en-mojtaba-samienejad.blogspot.com). Some 50 Iranian bloggers are openly backing him. The Penlog bloggers group has also firmly condemned his conviction (see http://penlog.blogspot.com/2005/06/blog-post_05.html).Sign the petition set up by the Committee to protect bloggers : http://committeetoprotectbloggers.blogspot.com/2005/05/media-fast-for-mo…——————————-23.05.05Imprisoned blogger Mojtaba Saminejad ends hunger strikeMojtaba Saminejad ended his hunger strike, on 14 May 2005, a week after he started it, apparently as a result of appeals from his family. The weblogger was summoned, on 23 May, by the 13th chamber of the peoples‚ revolutionary court in Tehran. He has been formally accused of acting against “national security” and is due to go on trial next month. ——————————–16.05.05Imprisoned blogger goes on hunger-strikeReporters Without Borders today called on bloggers throughout the world to post messages in support of Iranian blogger Mojtaba Saminejad, who has been in prison since 12 February and who began a hunger-strike on 14 May.”The life of this young blogger is in danger as he is being held in a prison where several detainees have died or have been injured in violence between inmates,” the press freedom organization said.”You must talk about him on the Web and in the media in order to put pressure on the Iranian authorities,” the organization said, adding, “all bloggers must feel concerned about his fate and that of his two colleagues who are also imprisoned.”According to his family, Mojtaba initially tried to file a complaint about mistreatment but his interrogators replied they were going to put him in a detention centre where he would “regret having complained.” He is currently held in Gohar Dashat prison (in a Tehran suburb), which has a reputation for mistreatment of detainees. He shares his cell with non-political prisoners.Mojtaba’s father, Sfar Saminejad, told the student news agency ISNA, “I wrote several letters to the authorities to complain about the unacceptable conditions in which my son is being detained, but no one replied.”Mojtaba’s hands and feet were in chains when he appeared in court on 11 May.A few days ago, Iranian bloggers launched a petition calling on the head of the judicial system, Ayatollah Sharoudi, to grant Mojtaba a pardon and unconditional release(http://alpr.30morgh.org/guest/archives/002216.php). An earlier petition was initiated shortly after his arrest (http://www.petitiononline.com/mojsn/petition.html).Two other bloggers and cyber-journalists have been detained since February. They are Mohamad Reza Nasab Abdolahi and Mojtaba Lotfi.——————-12.02.05Appeal court confirms prison for cyber-dissident while blogger is reimprisonedCondemning the imprisonment of two Iranian Internet users in the past 10 days, Reporters Without Borders said Iran was undergoing the Middle East’s biggest-ever crackdown on online free expression.Cyber-dissident Mojtaba Lotfi was imprisoned on 5 February after an appeal court confirmed a sentence of three years and 10 months in prison for posting “lies” on the Internet. Blogger Motjaba Saminejad, who was freed on bail of 500 million rials (43,000 euros) at the end of January, was reimprisoned on 12 February when a judge doubled the bail, making it impossible for him to raise the money.”How can Iranian officials parade at a UN summit on the Internet at the same time as they are jailing bloggers?” Reporters Without Borders asked, referring to Iran’s participation in a preparatory meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in two days’ time.”We will go to this meeting to ask them to free the cyber-dissident and two bloggers who are in prison in Iran,” the press freedom organization said. “We will also remind them that they will have to respect the undertaking given during the first WSIS stage, namely respect for article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”The sentence of three years and 10 months that was upheld on appeal was originally imposed on Lotfi, a theology student from the holy city of Qom, by a lower court on 14 August. But he was allowed to remain free at the time after paying bail of 650 million rial (55,000 euros). Lotfi used to be a journalist with the pro-reform daily Khordad, which the authorities closed in 2000. He was arrested for the first time in May 2004 and imprisoned in Qom after posting an article entitled “Respect for human rights in cases involving the clergy” on www.naqshineh.com, a news site about Qom. Naqshineh is also being prosecuted, above all because of its articles on the last legislative elections, and it has been blocked since March 2004 on the orders of the Qom authorities.Saminejad was told his bail had been raised to 1 billion rials when he was summoned by the Tehran prosecutor’s office for a hearing on 12 February. He was first arrested in November 2004 for reporting the arrests of three fellow bloggers in his former blog (http://man-namanam.blogspot.com). While detained, his blog address was transferred to the blog of a group of hackers linked to the Iranian radical Islamist movement Hezbollah (http://irongroup.blogspot.com/). After his release, he relaunched his blog using a new address (http://8mdr8.blogspot.com), which may have the reason for his re-arrest.The other blogger currently in prison is journalist Arash Sigarchi, who was arrested on 17 January in the northern city of Rashat for keeping a banned blog called Panhjareh Eltehab (The Window of Anxiety), in which he reported the recent arrests of cyber-journalists and bloggers.The second stage of the WSIS is being organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) under UN aegis in Tunis in November (see the official site: www.wsis.org). A preparatory meeting (prep com) is taking place in Geneva from 17 to 25 February. Reporters Without Borders repeated its call for the release of the young blogger, who has been held in custody since 12 February 2005.Lawyer for Mojtaba put testimony before the judges from two conservative ayatollahs that the articles posted by his client could not been interpreted as insulting to the prophets.The blogger had been sentenced to two years in prison at an earlier hearing before another Tehran court for “insulting the Supreme Guide”. He has so far not been allowed to appeal against this ruling. RSF_en Follow the news on Iran Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts News IranMiddle East – North Africa News News March 18, 2021 Find out more Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists Blogger Mojtaba Saminejad was cleared of “insulting the prophets” by a court in Tehran on 28 June, for which he faced the death penalty, but must still serve a two-year sentence for insulting the Supreme Guide. Organisation July 11, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Blogger cleared of “insult to prophets” but still guilty of “insulting Supreme Guide” News June 11, 2021 Find out morelast_img

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