Iran: Isa Saharkhiz sentenced to another prison term

© Morteza Farajabadi / ISNA

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the new jail sentence handed down on 26 April to prominent Iranian journalist and political figure Isa Saharkhiz.  
The journalist was released in November 2015 from prison after serving 21 months  for  "insulting Iranian officials" and "propaganda against the regime". Two days ago, he was sentenced to one year jail term after he was recently charged with "insulting the former president" and "insulting the head of the judiciary". His lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaee said they filed an appeal against the new sentence before the Tehran Province Court of Appeal.
Correspondents say that prosecution of journalists and crack down on social media platforms by Iranian authorities are caused by the upcoming presidential election in Iran at the end of May this year.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said : "Journalists all around the world will be celebrating World Press Freedom Day soon and their hearts and minds will be with Saharkhiz and their Iranian colleagues who have been enduring a campaign of fear and intimidations by the Iranian authorities.  There cannot be free and fair elections in Iran without freeing the media; the Iranian authorities should stop these attacks against the journalists and release Saharkhiz immediately."

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The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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