The Writers' Association of Iran has condemned the two-year sentence handed down to writer and poet Alireza Nouri and protested against the intensifying campaign of what it described as the "systematic repression and maximum pressure" placed on activists, writers and intellectuals.

On February 11, security agents arrested Alireza Nouri, a poet and member of the Writers' Association of Iran, at his home and transferred him to Hamadan Central Prison to serve a two-year prison sentence.

Nouri was sentenced to two years in prison in June 2017 on charges of "insulting sanctity by writing offensive poems online.” The Court of Appeals upheld the sentence.

The Writers' Association of Iran released a statement on February 17. It read: "Although in recent decades the news of the arrest, imprisonment and murder of free-thinking poets and writers is not a new issue and censorship in all forms is always on the body and soul of the people of pen and art of this land, in recent years the systematic repression and maximum pressure on activists in the field of thought and expression has gained an unprecedented intensity. These include the impossibility of activities of a free, and so-called non-insider, press, the banning of independent institutions and organizations such as the Writers' Association of Iran, threats and fabrications based on false accusations, and the eventual sentencing of poets and writers to long prison terms."

Currently, four other members of the Writers' Association of Iran are in prison: Reza Khandan Mahabadi, Baktash Abtin, Keyvan Bajan and Giti Pourfazel.

In its statement, the Writers' Association of Iran condemned Alireza Nouri's prison sentence and called for his unconditional release, and for the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

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