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Iranian court upholds jail term for female journalist

Iranian journalist and political activist Hengameh Shahidi [social media]
Iranian journalist and political activist Hengameh Shahidi [social media]

An Iranian court on Sunday upheld a prison sentence for female journalist Hengameh Shahidi on charges of making anti-regime propaganda, insult and fake news, local media reported.

Shahidi’s lawyer, Mostafa Turk Hamedani told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) that his client’s prison sentence of 12 years and 9 months in jail was upheld by the 36th Iranian revolutionary court.

However, Hamedani said Shahidi will spend seven-and-half years in prison in accordance with the Sunday’s verdict.

Shahidi has been in prison since July 2018 and in Dec. 2018, the 15th revolutionary court in Iran sentenced her to 12 years and 9 months in prison.

Read: Iran may attack Israel if US standoff escalates – Israeli minister

Separately, a media court on Saturday suspended the weekly Seda (Voice), the semi-official news agency ISNA reported, after the reformist magazine published an issue that included articles warning about the possibility of war with the United States.

“At the Crossroads of War and Peace, have moderates lost or will they again save Iran from war?” the main headline on the front page read against a photograph of US Navy warships.

On social media, hardliners attacked the magazine as “Trump’s voice”, suggesting its warning about the danger of war amounted to a call for talks with the United States, the Islamic Republic’s arch enemy.

“At the height of America’s political, economic and media war against the Iranian nation, an Iranian publication supplements the enemy’s media operations inside the country,” the hardline-led news agency Fars wrote in a comment.

Iran has dismissed the US military build up as “psychological warfare” designed to intimidate it.

Read: Iran’s Rouhani calls for unity to face ‘unprecedented’ US pressure

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