Sept. 23, 2020
Social Media Activist
Eight years imprisonment
Conspiring against national security
Insulting the Supreme Leader
Propaganda against the regime
Sasan Niknafas, a social media activist, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his social media activities. He is accused of publishing posts online in support of Reza Pahlavi – Iran's former crown prince and eldest son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah and ruler of Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution – and criticizing the current government and Iran's Supreme Leader.
Niknafas is currently being held in Greater Tehran Prison on these charges.
In August 2019, Sasan Niknafas was arrested by agents from the Intelligence Protection Organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps [IRGC]. Shortly after his arrest, Niknafas was temporarily released on bail until the end of the legal proceedings against him.
Niknafas was tried in December 2019 in Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Courts of Tehran, presided over by Judge Salavati. In these court hearings, he was eventually sentenced to five years in prison on the charges of “gathering and colluding against the state,” one year imprisonment on the charge of “propaganda against the state” and two years imprisonment on the charge of “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
On April 27, 2020, Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals of Tehran, presided over by Judge Zargar, upheld the eight year prison sentence against Sasan Niknafas.
Niknafas was arrested once again on July 27, 2020, while he was under house arrest. The next day, he contacted his family over the phone to inform them that he had been transferred to Greater Tehran Prison to serve his eight year prison sentence.
Sasan Niknafas suffers from diabetes and epilepsy.