Appeals Court Upheld Heavy Prison Terms for Labor Activists in Tabriz

HRANA News Agency – The Appeals Court has upheld heavy prison sentences issued for four leftist labor activists from Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province.

According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the sixth branch of the Appeals Court in East Azerbaijan Province upheld the verdicts against Shahrokh Zamani, Nima Pouryaghob, Mohammad Jarahi and Sasan Vahebivash.

On August 18, 2011, the first branch of the Revolutionary Court in Tabriz sentenced Shahrokh Zamani to 11 years, Nima Pouryaghob to 6 years, Mohammad Jarahi to 5 years and Sasan Vahebivash to 6 months in prison.A fifth defender, Buick Sydler, was found not guilty.Charges against these labor activists included organizing opposition groups, acting against national security and propaganda against the regime.

Nima Pouryaghob is studying mechanical engineering and Sasan Vahebivash is majoring in biomedical engineering at Tabriz Azad University.Shahrokh Zamani is a member of the Representatives’ Council in the Coordinating Committee to Create Labor Organizations and also a member of the Painters Union.Mohammad Jarahi is a labor activist.Although Shahrokh Zamani was unable to post his heavy bail for a while, all four labor activists are currently free on bail.

The verdicts issued against these political activists are unprecedented in Tabriz in the recent few years.

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