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Prominent Writer in Iran Sentenced To Prison - Female Journalist Arrested

File photo - Nima Saffar, Iranian writer

An Appeals Court has upheld an eight-month sentence for a renowned Iranian author, poet, and member of Iran Writers Association (IWA).

"The verdict against the Iranian poet and writer, Nima Saffar, is unfair," IWA said in a statement Wednesday, August 7, adding, "The ruling, as well as all other similar decisions, should be repealed."

The intelligence agents affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) detained Nima Saffar in November 2015, in the city of Gorgan, northern Iran.

After a month of interrogation in solitary confinement at the infamous Amirabad Prison in Gorgan, they released him on bail.

Two years later, a local court sentenced Saffar to eighty days. After serving his term, Saffar was once again accused of the same charges, including "spreading falsehoods" on social media and "acting against national security." A lower court recently sentenced him to eight months.

"Bombarding the lives of critics and protesters with lawsuits is a move to terrorize independent writers and all people active in arts, as well as the lives of all who protest and seek freedom," IWA has asserted in its statement.

The security apparatuses of the Islamic Republic, particularly the fearsome IRGC's Intelligence Organization, have recently intensified their pressure on writers, artists, poets, journalists, and filmmakers.

As recent as May 15, three prominent members of IWA each were given a six-year sentence for "acting against national security" and "propaganda against the state".

Nooshin Jafari, Journalist and Photographer
Nooshin Jafari, Journalist and Photographer

Meanwhile, according to social media reports, intelligence agents detained young photo-journalist, Nooshin Jafari, four days ago. The charges against Ms. Jafari are not yet known.

Nooshin Jafari, 31, was earlier detained on February 3, 2010, while working for the pro-reform daily Etemad.

"Nooshin Jafari is one of the youngest Iranian journalists, and one of the founding members of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, a group whose most active members are currently in prison and authorities are searching for its other members. Jafari was active in cultural reporting over the past few months," the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) reported on February 6, 2010.