Iran sentences opposition figure to jail

AFP , Wednesday 28 Dec 2011

Ebrahim Yazdi the head of a banned opposition party and a former foreign minister is arrested again and sentenced to eight years in prison

Ebrahim Yazdi
Tehran Bureau, 4. April(Photo: Reuters)

Iran has sentenced Ebrahim Yazdi, the head of a banned opposition party and a former foreign minister, to eight years in prison for "attempting to act against national security," his lawyer said Wednesday.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah told AFP that his 80-year-old client was also accused of "cooperating with the Freedom Movement of Iran party," an outlawed but tolerated group.

Yazdi was found guilty in the closed-door session reportedly held on November 2. Dadkhah said Yazdi was also handed a five-year ban on civic activities.

Yazdi had argued the court did not have jurisdiction to handle his case, the lawyer said.

Dadkhah said he would appeal against the sentence and expressed hope that "a just and fair (appeals) court, which would abide by the constitution, would forward Yazdi's case to a public court to benefit from the presence of a jury."

Yazdi was last released from jail in March, five months after being arrested in the city of Isfahan along with several other members of the Freedom Movement of Iran.

The official IRNA news agency then reported Yazdi had announced his resignation as head of the party, without giving a reason.

Yazdi, who served in the first government following the 1979 Islamic revolution that overthrew the shah, was also detained in June 2009 during a wave of unrest which followed the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Short link: