An Iranian journalist has been sentenced to 50 lashes and two years in prison over charges of spreading anti-government propaganda in the latest incident of Iran’s crackdown on the independent media.
Marzieh Rasouli reported to Evin prison in Tehran on Tuesday, where she became the latest of dozens of journalists imprisoned by the Islamic republic, which has been branded as one of the world’s worst jailer of journalists by the New York Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
As president Hassan Rouhani pursues a reconciliatory foreign policy, hardliners in the country’s judiciary and the revolutionary guards appear to be tightening their grip on domestic social and cultural norms.
The young female journalist was jailed to endure her conviction on charges of „spreading propaganda“ against the ruling system and „disturbing the public order“, the Guardian has understood. On the previous day, Rasouli had also announced on her Twitter account that she had been informed of her sentence and was expected to go to jail.
Rasouli, a well-known writer on the arts and culture for a number of reformists newspapers including Shargh and Etemaad, was initially arrested in January 2012 as the authorities launched a crackdown before the parliamentary elections at the time. She was later releasedafter posting a large bail with the prison authorities.
According to the Reporters Without Borders, Rasouli and at least two other Iranian journalists, Parastoo Dokouhaki and Sahamoldin Borghani, were accused by hardliners of collaborating with the BBC, which Iran conservatives see as a tool of British espionage.