The 104th branch of a criminal court in western Iran sentenced a media activist to prison and lashes for “defaming” local officials.

According to the Hegaw human rights group, the Sanandaj court sentenced Morteza Haghbayan to two years and six months of prison, 90 lashes, and a 10 million toman fine (around 390 USD) for “defaming officials in Kurdistan Province and publishing government documents”.

Haghbayan was tried on November 16, 2020, and was officially informed of his sentence on August 3.

He was detained on August 26 last year by security forces in Sanandaj and was temporarily released on a 260 million toman bail, around 10,000 USD, 67 days later. Haghbayan was kept in solitary confinement in the intelligence agency during his 67 days of incarceration.

He was detained for being active in the “Aamak” Telegram Channel which disclosed the corruption of Kurdistan officials. All the posts in the channel have since been deleted and only a notice by the regime’s Cyber Police remains.

According to the notice, the channel has “disturbed public opinion, social security, and public order” and is “illegal”. The notice further states that the channel activists have been prosecuted.

Haghbayan was also sentenced to three months of suspended prison last winter for “spreading propaganda against the state”.

Source » irannewswire