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Iranian Journalist Ordered To Serve Jail Sentence

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin in 2003
Mashallah Shamsolvaezin in 2003
A prominent Iranian journalist has been ordered to report to Tehran's Evin prison to serve a sentence handed down to him last year by Tehran's Revolutionary Court, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

In December, Mashallah Shamsolvaezin was sentenced to 16 months in prison on charges including "spreading propaganda against the Islamic republic regime" and insulting President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Shamsolvaezin, the spokesman for the Committee to Defend Press Freedom, told RFE/RL on July 19 he had been given three days to appear at the prosecutor's office at Evin prison.

This is the fifth time Shamsolvaezin, who is also the deputy head of the Iranian Journalists Association, has been sentenced for his professional activities.

He was detained in December 2009 during the post-presidential-election crackdown and released on bail in February 2010.

Shamsolvaezin was the editor in chief of the reformist newspapers "Jame'eh," "Tous," "Neshat," and "Asr-e Azadegan," all of which were closed down by Tehran's Press Court between 1998 and 2000.

Shamsolvaezin's lawyer, Mohammad Seifzadeh, is currently also in prison serving a nine-year sentence on charges of "acting against national security" for co-founding the Center for Human Rights Defenders together with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and two other lawyers.