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Iranian Lawyer Says Jailed University Worker's Appeal Rejected


Jafar Kazemi was arrested in September 2009

Jafar Kazemi was arrested in September 2009

The lawyer of a jailed university worker says his client's appeal to the Supreme Court for a review of his death sentence has been rejected, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Jafar Kazemi, 46, a textbook lithographer at Amir Kabir University in Tehran, was arrested in September 2009 during the protests following the controversial June presidential election.

Kazemi's lawyer Naseem Ghanavi told Radio Farda on June 29 that Kazemi was arrested "on charges of being an enemy of God, holding rallies, acting against national security, and propaganda against the government and was tried in branch 28 of the revolutionary court."

Kazemi pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Tehran chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced in April that six prisoners -- including Kazemi -- who are accused of having "clear and definite" links with the dissident group the People's Mujahedin of Iran, had been sentenced to death. Two of them have already been executed.

Ghanavi recalled that in 1981, her client was imprisoned for 10 years on charges of supporting the People's Mujahedin of Iran (also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization, MKO), a political group that has been labeled a terrorist organization by both Iran and the United States.

She said that in 2008 his 15-year-old son tried to leave the country and join the MKO.

Ghanavi said Kazemi accompanied his son since he was too young to travel alone and tried to persuade him not to join the organization. Ghanavi told Radio Farda that Kazemi's son did ultimately join the MKO and his contact with his son is now minimal.

The International Committee Against Executions said that in 2009 the total number of executions in Iran was second only to China.
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