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Entries in Omid Kokabee (3)


The Latest from Iran (20 August): "Time's Up for Bullying Oppressors"

The Supreme Leader, President Ahmadinejad, Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, and head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani at Sunday's ceremony for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan

See also Iran Opinion: Why Real Negotiations Have Not Occurred --- And Why We Still Need Them

2031 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. An appeal court has upheld a 10-year prison sentence for physics student Omid Kokabee, detained in February 2011 when he returned to Iran on vacation from the University of Texas.

Kokabee was charged with “communicating with a hostile government” and “illegitimate earnings". He was sentenced in May 2012, with 12 others, on the collective allegation of collaborating with Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad.

2021 GMT: Forgiveness Watch. Ali Saeedi, the Supreme Leader's representative to the Revolutionary Guards, has said reformists can participate in elections if they "repent, confess mistakes, and confirm allegiance".

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The Latest from Iran (16 May): Remembering Political Prisoners from Science to Religion

7 Detained Baha'i Leaders (see 0500 GMT)1825 GMT: Ahmadinejad Watch. Asr-e Iran post a catalogue of the President's speeches in which he blames "conspirators" for the Government's problems.

1814 GMT: Political Prisoners Watch (Journalists Edition). Almost 130 Iranian journalists have called on head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani and Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani to take action against the on-going repression of those in the media.

The journalists highlighted the recent imprisonment of journalists Mahsa Amrabadi and Reza Ansari-Rad, as well as a flogging sentence handed down to cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraye: “Precisely at a time when the suspect in the [detainee abuse scandal at] Kahrizak detention centre [Presidential aide Saeed Mortazavi] is promoted, and the forces under your authority turn a blind eye to the accusations against him, Iranian journalists are, one by one, imprisoned, defamed and even physically abused.”

They said that while “the main suspects and culprits" in the $2.6 billion bank fraud" could continue freely with their extravagant lifestyles, Mahsa Amrabadi, Reza Ansari-Rad and other Iranian journalists were being jailed “for the sole crime of writing".

Last week, Amrabadi was summoned to serve a one-year sentence in Evin Prison. Her husband, journalist Masoud Bastani, has been imprisoned for six years.

The statement declared, “We call for an end to the flogging; we call for an end to all forms of lawlessness, injustice and disrespect towards those who hold the pen. We call for the implementation of the law. We seek respect for the pen.”

More than 100 journalists have been imprisoned since the 2009 Presidential elections. Dozens are still behind bars, while others are on heavy bail and under threat of being summoned to serve their sentences.

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The Latest from Iran (21 May): Two Presidents in Trouble

2030 GMT: At the Movies. Director Mohammad Rasoulof, facing a six-year prison sentence, has won the Cannes Film Festival prize for Best Director in the Un Certain Regard section Saturday for "Be Omid e Didar" (Goodbye).

Rasoulof, who is appealing his sentence, cannot travel abroad so his wife accepted the prize on his behalf.

The film tells the story of a young Tehran lawyer trying to get a visa to leave Iran.

Rasoulof was sentenced with fellow director Jafar Panahi in December and barred from making films for 20 years. Panahi's latest film, smuggled out of Iran, is also being shown at Cannes (see separate video).

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