RFL/RE – A dual Iranian-American citizen sentenced to 18 years in prison for insulting the Islamic republic and engaging in espionage for the United States has been released on bail, two U.S. human rights groups said.
Robin Shahini was freed from prison in recent days on bail of 2 billion rials ($62,000), according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran and the Human Rights Activists News Agency.
Both groups said it was not immediately clear if Shahini could leave the country.
Shahini has been jailed in Iran since July and was sentenced by the country’s judiciary in October.
Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, told AP that Shaini “is an innocent man who appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and his detention and prosecution was motivated by his dual nationality more than anything else.”
Shahini, a graduate student in the United States, was detained by security forces while visiting his sick mother in northern Iran.
He left Iran in 1998, went on to gain U.S. citizenship, and has lived in San Diego for 16 years.
Iran does not recognize dual citizenship, and considers all Iranian nationals to be solely Iranian citizens.
The country’s human rights record has been condemned by the United Nations and international rights groups.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters