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Iran: Pollsters Get Jail Terms For Publishing Pro-U.S. Survey

Tehran, 2 February 2003 (RFE/RL) -- State news media in Iran report that a conservative Islamic court has sentenced two opinion pollsters to jail for issuing public opinion data that was disapproved of by authorities. The reports say the two directors of the Ayandeh Polling Institute -- Abbas Abdi and Hossein Ghazian -- are to serve seven- and eight-year terms, respectively.

Both pollsters already have spent three months in solitary confinement awaiting trial. They were detained after they published a public opinion survey last September which found that three-quarters of Iranians wanted Tehran to resume a political dialogue with the United States.