Mashallah Shamsolvaezin

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, the deputy head of the Iranian Journalists Association and a spokesman for the Press Freedom Society, has been summoned by Iranian prison authorities to serve out his 16-month sentence.

The Human Rights Reporters Committee says authorities have warned Shamsolvaezin’s mother that she will forfeit the bail money she put up for his release if he does not report to prison within 20 days.

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin was sentenced in a preliminary court to 16 months in prison for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic regime and insulting the president.” The prison summons has been issued even though he has not been formally informed of the appellate court’s decision in his case.

Shamsolvaezin’s defence attorney, Mohammad Seifzadeh, a founding member of the Human Rights Defenders Centre in Iran, was detained and banned from practicing law. Therefore, Shamsolvaezin did not receive a proper defence.

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin was arrested in December of 2009 at his home in Tehran and released on bail after two and a half months.

Since the crackdown on protests that followed the 2009 presidential election, journalists repeatedly have been the target of arrests and persecution in Iran.