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Jailed Iranian Student Demands Fair Retrial From Top Judge

Jailed student activist Seyed Zia Nabavi has written to Iranian judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani demanding he be given a fair retrial, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Nabavi was arrested on June 15 and later sentenced to 15 years in prison and 74 lashes. The charges against him included "assembly with intent to conspire against national security" and "cooperation with the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MKO)."

Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran told Radio Farda that Nabavi's letter "shows how unfair [and] baseless are the sentences being handed down to young Iranians."

Ghaemi said the letter shows there is no evidence Nabavi cooperated with the MKO. The cooperation charge against him, the letter suggests, was based on the fact that one of Nabavi's relatives is a member of the MKO.

Nabavi was one of the "blacklisted" students who were banned from continuing their education in 2006 because of their political activities. He only participated in street protests after the disputed presidential election in June 2009.

Student activists have played a major role in the opposition movement. Since last June, many of them have been jailed following trials that outside observers say fall short of international legal norms.