Journalist Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Her Facebook Posts
The journalist Solmaz Ikdar has been sentenced to three years in prison for “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the state.” The charges were based on content she posted on her Facebook page.
The trial, presided over by Judge Moghisseh, took place on October 20, 2015, and Ikdar’s sentence was issued on November 10, 2015, a source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Ikdar, 33, has spent her journalism career writing for several reformist publications, including Shargh, Bahar, Farhikhtegan, and Mardom-e Emrooz.
Her sentencing takes place within the context of an intensified campaign by hardliners against journalists and reformists in Iran. During recent weeks, several Iranian journalists have been arrested by the Revolutionary Guards’ Intelligence Organization.
Authorities in Iran have also cracked down particularly hard on any dissenting opinion expressed on social media, a platform they have come to fear due to its widespread use among Iranian youth.
The journalist’s sentence reflects the broader campaign underway by hardliners in Iran to assert their dominance in the domestic sphere in the post-nuclear deal environment.
Ikdar was previously arrested in 2008, given a six-month suspended prison sentence, and expelled from university for “propaganda against the state.”
She had tried to leave Iran in June of this year but was told by a border official at the airport that she was banned from traveling abroad.
“She was going to leave the country to study abroad but Mr. Ghotbi, the Assistant Prosecutor of Tehran, told her she was banned from traveling because she intended to join Voice of America’s television broadcasting team. But he has not shown any proof to back up his accusation,” the source told the Campaign.