Iran Sends Four Pro-reform Journalists to Prison

Sentences range from five to 10 years behind bars for acting against national security.

Iran's President Hassan Rohani speaks at a military parade marking National Army Day, just outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, April 17, 2016.
Ebrahim Noroozi, AP

An Iranian court has sentenced four pro-reform journalists to prison terms ranging from five to 10 years after convicting them on charges of acting against national security.

State TV's website said on Tuesday that the verdicts can be appealed.

The four were arrested in November as part of ongoing crackdown by hard-liners, a move that was criticized by moderate Iranian President Hassan Rohani.

Several Iranian activists and cultural figures were also arrested in the run-up to February elections for parliament and the all-cleric Assembly of Experts.

The four sentenced have worked for various newspapers, including pro-reform Farhikhtegan daily.

They include Davood Asadi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Ehsun Mazandarani was given a seven-year term while Afarin Chitsaz and Ehsan Safarzaiee each have to spend five years behind bars.