Political Commentator and Former Political Activist Released From Evin Prison
Issa Saharkhiz Facing New Trial
Reformist political commentator Issa Saharkhiz and former political activist Navid Kamran were released from Evin Prison in Tehran on April 25, 2017, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.
Saharkhiz’s son announced his father’s release on Twitter following the completion of his 21-month prison term, adding that the veteran journalist will face a new trial on May 10, 2017.
Issa Saharkhiz, 63, was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Intelligence Organization on November 2, 2015 and sentenced to two years in prison for “insulting the supreme leader” and one year in prison for “propaganda against the state.”
He served most of his term at Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran while receiving treatment for heart disease. In May 2017 he will be tried for allegedly “insulting the judiciary chief and the president” in his commentaries.
An informed source told CHRI that Navid Kamran, 34, was granted conditional release on April 25 after serving a third of his one-year prison sentence for his peaceful activism.
He was arrested on September 6, 2014 with three colleagues by the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization and convicted of “propaganda against the state.”
Kamran was arrested as part of a crackdown on alleged “members of an infiltration group connected to the US and UK,” according to the IRGC, that also resulted in the arrests of reformist newspaper editor Ehsan Mazandarani, newspaper columnist Afarin Chitsaz, reformist journalist Saman (Ehsan) Safarzaie and Davoud Assadi, a marketing manager and the brother of Paris-based dissident commentator Houshang Assadi.
Kamran was arrested and tried with former student activists Arash Sadeghi, his wife Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee and Behnam Mousivand.
Kamran and Mousivand were sentenced in May 2015 to one year in prison while Sadeghi received a 15-year prison sentence and Iraee received a six-year prison sentence.
Kamran was previously arrested in 2009 for attending the widespread, peaceful protests against the disputed results of that year’s presidential election and sentenced to 33 months in prison and 74 lashes. He was released in 2011.