Four-year jail term for Iranian activist
An Iranian appeals court on Saturday sentenced human rights activist Shiva Nazar-Ahari to a four-year jail term and 74 lashes on subversion charges, opposition websites reported.
The appeals court shortened by two years an earlier sentence handed down by a lower court after acquitting Nazar-Ahari of conspiracy charges against the establishment. The court ordered the imprisonment be made in Karaj, a suburb west of the capital Tehran.
In September, the 26-year-old was sentenced by a lower court to a six-year jail term, including three and a half years in a prison in Izeh in south-western Khuzestan province as what the court termed as "imprisonment in exile." Her lawyer Mohammad Sharif had appealed that verdict.
Nazar-Ahari is currently still free on a bail amounting to 500,000 dollars.
Authorities had charged her of conspiracy and propaganda against the Iranian establishment and affiliation with the rebel group People's Mujahedin of Iran, regarded by Tehran as a terrorist organization. She was also charged with waging war against God, a crime under Islamic law that merits the death sentence in Iran.
Nazar-Ahari denied all charges, including links to the People's Mujahedin group.
She was arrested after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election in June 2009, in a vote overshadowed by opposition allegations of fraud.
She was released after three months, but arrested again in December 2009 for joining an anti-government gathering and mourning ceremony for the late reformist ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri.
Several international human rights organizations voiced support for Nazar-Ahari and demanded the charges against her be dropped, dpa reported.