Kaveh Ghassemi, Iranian journalist and human rights activist was sentenced to five years in prison by Kermanshah Revolutionary Court.
Ghassemi was charged with “activity against national security” through membership in Kurdistan Human Rights Organization and “propaganda against the regime” by giving interviews to the media and publishing news and reports about families of political prisoners and victims, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reports.
The Campaign reports that the Kurdish activist was given the highest possible penalty meted out to such cases by the Islamic penal code.
In addition to confiscating Ghassemi’s passport and some of his other personal documents, the court has seized his laptop, computers, cell phone, camera, printer and a number of other items that were confiscated at the time of the arrest.
Ghassemi’s lawyer, Mostafa Ahmadian described his client’s sentence “unprecedented” and “far too heavy” saying: “None of my client’s activities, which were indeed done in good faith and with humanitarian intentions, constitute activity against national security or propaganda against the regime.” He added that he is certain to appeal the sentence.
Kaveh Ghassemi was arrested last February in Kermanshah and after 110 days in prison 80 of which were in solitary confinement, was released on a $100,000 bail in May.
Ghassemii is an executive member of Kurdistan Human Rights Organization. He is also a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign to End Discriminatory Laws as well as Iran’s largest student organization, Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat.