The Revolutionary Court in the Kurdish city of Saghez sentenced four people to prison for “propaganda in support of Kurdish opposition parties” after they set up a group and channel on the Telegram messaging service. 

As reported by Human Rights Activists News Agency [Persian link], Branch 1 of Saghez Revolutionary court sentenced Naser Rahimi, Hayman Hosseini and Kamel Sharifzadeh each to six months in prison and the fourth activist, Gharib Sharifzadeh, to one year.

Security agency police tasked with combating criminal activity online arrested the four Kurdish Iranians, plus another activist, Hiva Dastbaz. Dastbaz’s case is still under review. Kamel and Gharib Sharifzadeh had previously been sentenced each to 18 months in prison in July 2012 on charges of cooperating with a Kurdish party opposed to the Islamic Republic and were released after serving their sentences. According to their family, the two are still out on a bail of 100 million tomans, or close to $31,000, and have not appealed the court ruling.

In the recent incident, reports say intelligence agents anonymously joined the Telegram channels set up by the accused, and took screenshots of their comments and posts. The screenshots were used as evidence against them in court.

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