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Iranian 'Clubhouse' Journalist Handed Prison Term


Iranian journalist Vida Rabbani (file photo)

Iranian journalist Vida Rabbani says she has been sentenced to five years in prison, with two of the years being suspended.

Rabbani wrote on Twitter that she had been charged with "insulting sacred things, disturbing public order, inciting violent behavior, and conspiracy to commit a crime against national security."

Rabbani says she is banned from engaging in professional activities for five years, including on social media. She says she is also not allowed to engage in political activity or participate in "gatherings."

She was arrested several times in recent years, including last year for managing a popular room on the Clubhouse social media network, and said the Intelligence Ministry had threatened her and other room managers with five years in prison if they continued their activities.

An audio-based, social-media application, Clubhouse has become a major platform for dialogue among Iranians who join virtual chat rooms to hear from analysts, journalists, and dissidents. Many also joined Clubhouse virtual rooms during last year's presidential campaign to follow debates and listen to analysis.

With writing and reporting by Ardeshir Tayebi
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