Media freedom watchdogs have condemned the prison sentence handed to Iranian independent journalist Khosro Sadeghi Borojeni and urged the country’s authorities to stop arbitrarily jailing members of the press.
Borojeni, a freelance columnist, was taken to Tehran’s Evin prison on September 9 to begin a seven-year prison term on charges of “insulting the Islamic Republic’s founder,” “anti-government propaganda,” and “meeting and conspiring against national and international security,” the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in a statement on September 15.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said Borojeni’s incarceration “on vague ‘national security’ and ‘insult’ charges is just another example of Iranian authorities’ contempt for the press.”
Borojeni was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison by a revolutionary court in February, but this was reduced to seven years on appeal in June.
The journalist was arrested in the northwestern Iranian province of West Azerbaijan in mid-August and was held for about three weeks before being transferred to Evin prison.
He is required to serve at least five years of his sentence.
Borojeni is a member of the Tehran Association of Independent Journalists.
His personal website, last updated in June, featured commentary on current events in Iran, including economic and political topics, according to the CPJ.
The New York-based group said the journalist frequently wrote about sensitive issues, including poverty among Iranian workers and the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.