Jailed Iranian journalist Saam Mahmoudi Sarabi was released today after more than eight months in prison. The Kaleme website reports he was released after his family posted bail of $300,000.
Saam Mahmoudi is a Shargh Newspaper editor who was arrested last December after being summoned to the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. During his incarceration, he was denied any visits and was allowed only a handful of telephone calls from his family.
His charges included “propaganda against the Leader and writing the song ‘I Confess.’”
Keleme reports that he was also arrested and held for 44 days in the winter of 2010 after writing lyrics that described the alleged coerced confessions of political prisoners Mohammadali Abtai and Mohammad Atrianfar, and after writing an open letter to opposition leader MirHosein Mousavi.
After the controversial elections of 2009 and allegations of fraud in the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, widespread protests were crushed through widespread arrests. Many journalists and reporters were targeted for arrest. A number of so-called show trials were televised showing jailed senior political figures such as Abtai and Atrainfar recanting their claims of vote fraud.
Many jailed journalists still remain in prison, serving out harsh terms for their involvement in the post-election protests.