Aug 12, 2008

Iranian Kurdistan: Journalist Jailed for Five Years

Active ImageProminent author Yousuf Ben Azizi was found guilty of 'subversive activities'.



Below is an article published by Adnkronos:

A prominent Iranian journalist of Arab ethnicity has been sentenced to five years in jail.

Yousuf Ben Azizi, was found guilty of 'subversive activities' after he published several articles three years ago after protests in the city of Ahwaz and other southern Iranian cities inhabited by Arabs.

"My client was found guilty of subversive activities with the aim of endangering national security," said Ben Azizi's lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht.

Ben Azizi is the author of 25 novels and essays in Persian and Arabic. He is also a member of the Writers Association and has written in major newspapers for years.

Meanwhile, female activist Zeunab Bayazidi was sentenced to four years in prison in a city in Iranian Kurdistan.

Bayazidi was arrested 33 days ago while gathering signatures to support a campaign calling for sexual equality.

The lawyer selected by the family was not allowed to attend the trial.

In a report released last week the human rights organisation, Amnesty International expressed concern about the increased repression of Kurdish Iranians, particularly human rights defenders.

The report cited examples of religious and cultural discrimination against the estimated 12 million Kurds who live in Iran.