A court in Iran has sentenced prominent political prisoner Mohammad Tavassoli to eleven years in prison.
According to the semi-official Isna news agency, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced the 74-year-old to eleven years in prison as well as a five-year ban on political and press-related activities on charges of “disrupting national security” and conducting “propaganda” against the Islamic Republic.
Tavassoli, Tehran’s first mayor following the fall of the Shah, has endured many years of imprisonment and torture both before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He was also arrested shortly after the rigged 2009 presidential election and was held in the notorious Evin Prison for 43 days.
Tavassoli, who heads the political bureau of the outlawed Freedom Movement of Iran, was arrested again last November after he and 142 other activists wrote a letter to former President Mohammad Khatami, warning him that there was little hope the authorities would hold free and fair parliamentary elections in March 2012. Tavassoli was temporarily released on 14 May 2012.
On 17 September, during a court trial presided over by the infamous Judge Salavati, Tavassoli refused to defend himself, arguing that the whole affair was “illegal.”
In April, Ebrahim Yazdi, the Secretary General of the FMI, said that the Revolutionary Court lacked qualification for reviewing charges against him and his party. The 80-year-old faces an eight-year jail-term.