Iran sentences rights defender jail and lashes for ‘anti-state propaganda’

Human rights defender Nader Afshari has been sentenced to one year in prison and 74 lashes after being convicted of “disrupting public order” and “propaganda against the state.”

The activist had also been sentenced to four months in prison in February 2019 for spreading anti-state propaganda.

Prior to his sentencing he was facing charge of “speaking out in the media and reporting about Iranian political prisoners.”

Nader Afshari was arrested previously in February 2018 during the protests that erupted across the country earlier this year and detained in Section 209 of Evin prison, run by the Ministry of Intelligence, before being released on bail on 19 March 2018.

Nevertheless, he was detained again by Ministry of Intelligence officials on August 1, 2018 in the city of Karaj, north-west of Tehran.
Following his arrest, his mother tried in vain for days to locate him, enquiring about him at the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence, police stations, the headquarters of the Sarollah Unit of the Revolutionary Guards, and the headquarters of the paramilitary Basij force.

They all denied knowledge of his fate and whereabouts. Finally, on August 7, 2018, during a visit to Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Karaj, Nader Afshari’s mother was told by the judge that his case was still under investigation and that he was being held in a “safe house”, according to Amnesty International.

So-called “safe houses” are secret detention centres run by the security and intelligence forces.

There is no oversight of these detention centres by the official Prisons Organization and they violate Iran’s own Prisons Regulations, which state that “judicial, executive, intelligence, police, or military organs are prohibited from having their own prisons and detention houses.”

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