Iran: Political prisoners remain in prison deprived of new year furlough

Ali Shariati and Soheil Arabi

Ali Shariati and Soheil Arabi, political prisoners held in ward 7 of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, have been deprived of furlough for Nowruz (the Persian New Year).

It has been more than three years since Soheil Arabi has been deprived of any furlough. He was arrested in January 2014, held in Evin Prison under interrogation and placed under pressure for two months.

Arabi has been frequently prosecuted for posting articles on his Facebook account and other social media networks.

He was sentenced to 3 years in prison by branch 15 of Urmia’s Criminal Court for “insulting the supreme leader,” and was also sentenced to 30 lashes and a fine of $130 by branch 10 of the court of administrative justice.

He was also sentenced to death for allegedly “insulting the prophet Muhammad.” However, a higher court annulled his death penalty, and his new sentence includes a 90-day jail term. Arabi will not be coming out of prison time any time soon, as he is also serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for allegedly “insulting the supreme leader.”

Ali Shariati is serving a 5-year prison sentence on charges of “assembly and collusion against national security through attending a protest against acid attacks in October 2014.”

He failed in appealing the sentence and his 5-year of prison sentence was upheld.

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