Four Iranian journalists who were arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in November last year have been sentenced to a total of 27 years in prison, according to one of their lawyers.
The four journalists, Afarin Chitsaz, Ehsan Mazandarani, Saman Safarzaei and Davoud Asadi, were reportedly arrested in early November 2015 by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, accused of being members of an “infiltration network” colluding with hostile Western governments.
The Guards also arrested the prominent journalist Isa Saharkhiz but his verdict has not been announced yet.
The journalists have reportedly been tried at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court, which is presided over by Judge Moghiseh. Human rights organizations have accused Moghiseh of violating the rights of defendants and not adhering to the principles of judicial impartiality.
Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, the lawyer for three of the journalist, Mazandarani, Asadi and Chitsaz, told Tasnim news agency on April 26 that all four journalists were found guilty of “gathering and colluding against national security.”
Davoud Asadi and Saman Safarzai were each given a five-year prison sentence.
Ehsan Mazandarani, the managing editor of the newspaper Farhikhtegan, was also found guilty of “spreading propaganda against the regime” and sentenced to seven years in prison.
The heaviest sentence was given to Afarin Chitsaz, a columnist for the newspaper Iran, the official publication of the Rouhani administration. She was also convicted for “collaborating with foreign governments,” and received a 10-year prison sentence.
Their lawyer Alizadeh Tabatabaei also said the journalists reject the charges against them and will appeal the verdicts.