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RSF Deplores Award-Winning Blogger Solitary Confinement

Iran -- Soheil Arabi, Death Sentence for “Insulting the Prophet” on Facebook, Nov2014

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières) has condemned the transfer of political prisoner Soheil Arabi to solitary confinement in the infamous Raja'ei Shahr prison.

Iranian agents placed the 35-year-old blogger in solitary confinement after he exposed the "deplorable condition" of the Greater Tehran Penitentiary (GTP) in an audio file leaked out of the notorious jail.

With an official capacity of 15,000 inmates, GTP is the largest detention facility in Iran.

Immediately after the release of the audio file on social media on September 19, it was reported that the security forces transferred Arabi to an unknown location. Arabi's fellow inmates were told that he was taken to the prison's medical center.

In its statement, RSF says Arabi's mother, Farangis Mazloum, found out that her son has been transferred to Raja'ei Shahr prison and placed in solitary confinement.

The agents of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' fearsome Intelligence Organization arrested Arabi in November 2013 for allegedly publishing anti-Sharia articles on his Facebook account.

He was tried and initially condemned to death for 'Sab an-Nabi,' or insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

His sentence was commuted in 2015 to seven and a half years in jail, and two years of mandatory study of Islamic theology, as well as a ban from leaving Iran for two years.

Arabi is also a Press Freedom Prize Winner, an award created by RSF that honors courageous and independent journalists who have faced threats or imprisonment for their work and challenged the abuse of power.

Arabi's mother, who had been pursuing her son's case for years, was also arrested last year and sentenced to six years in prison last July for "propaganda against the regime."

Concerning Iran's "judicial harassment" of Arabi, RSF also condemned "blackmail by Iranian authorities against the families of journalists."