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Iran Sentences Economist to 9 Years in Prison


Map of Iran

Map of Iran

A lawyer for Saeed Laylaz, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabataba'i, told Iran's Fars news agency that the popular political analyst was found guilty of taking part in opposition rallies and possessing classified information.

A top Iranian economist and newspaper editor has been sentenced to nine years in prison for protesting the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A lawyer for Saeed Laylaz, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabataba'i, told Iran's Fars news agency that the popular political analyst was found guilty of taking part in opposition rallies and possessing classified information.

Laylaz was editor of the reformist economic newspaper Sarmayeh, which was shut down by Iranian authorities last month for publishing articles critical of the government's economic policy.

In related news, Iran's Revolutionary Court also sentenced Shapour Kazemi, the brother-in-law of opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi, to one year in jail for attending opposition rallies challenging Mr. Ahmadinejad's re-election.

Iran has put more than 100 leading activists on trial on charges of inciting unrest and plotting to overthrow the government since the June election.

Authorities detained thousands of people during street protests led by opposition supporters who say the election won by President Ahmadinejad was rigged.

Iran has so far sentenced five people to death and more than 80 others to prison terms of up to 15 years for participating in the protests.

Rights groups say many of those arrested were tortured and coerced into making false confessions.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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