Iran sentences journalists to death

The BBC reports:

Iran has sentenced two dissident journalists from its ethnic Kurdish minority [to die] for being “enemies of God”.

Rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), says Adnan Hassanpour and Hiva Boutimar were sentenced by a court in the eastern city of Marivan…

Iran has executed over 100 people so far in 2007, most of them by hanging.

A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said that the two journalists had “taken arms to topple the system”.

How often do journalists “take arms”?

Usually they write stuff. Reporters Without Borders says,

At [Hassanpour’s] trial, which was held behind closed doors, he was found guilty of “activities subverting national security” and “spying.” His interviews for foreign news media including Voice of America were cited by the prosecution. According to his family and one of his lawyers, Sirvan Hosmandi, he was transferred to Sanandaj prison on 18 July.

They have 20 days (from July 16) to appeal.

With a total of nine journalists currently detained, Iran continues to be the Middle East’s biggest prison for the press and one of the world’s ten most repressive countries as regards freedom of expression in the media.

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