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Foreign Affairs

Iran Jails One Civic Activist, Frees Another Held for 10 Years

Iranian rights groups say authorities have jailed a civil society activist in central Iran while releasing another activist who completed a 10-year prison term for photographing an alleged mass grave.

In the case of the newly jailed civic activist, the Iran-based Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) and the U.S.-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) published reports Monday saying intelligence agents arrested Mohammad Davari last Friday in the west-central Iranian city of Yasuj.

HRANA's report quoted a source close to Davari's family as saying the agents detained Davari at the home of the activist's father and seized Davari's personal belongings, including a laptop computer and notebook.

HRANA did not say what prompted Davari's detention or where he was initially held. But it quoted the family friend as saying authorities transferred the activist to Yasuj's prison on Monday for a two-month interim detention.

Davari, who is in his mid-20s, previously had been arrested in Yasuj in March of this year on charges of acting against Iran's national security. He was released days later on bail of 500 million rials, or $12,000.

In the case of the released Iranian activist, CHRI posted a tweet saying authorities freed 40-year-old Jafar Eghdami from a prison in the northern city of Karaj on Monday, as he finished serving a 10-year sentence for taking photos at a sensitive site � the Khavaran cemetery on the southeastern outskirts of Tehran.

Earlier this year, HRANA reported that Eghdami had been arrested for photographing a 2008 ceremony at Khavaran, where family members had gathered to commemorate political prisoners who were executed and buried at the site in 1988.

Human rights groups have said Iran's Islamist rulers secretly executed thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and buried them in unmarked mass graves, including at Khavaran. Most of those killed were members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) group.

Prior to his 2008 conviction, Iranian authorities had arrested Eghdami several times in relation to his civic activism.

Source: Voice of America


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