iran-hrm – Three members of Iranian Writers Association (IWA) were arrested on Tuesday, January 22 after they failed to appear before the court and provide large bails.
According to reports judicial authorities have set unaffordable bails for Baktash Abtin, Reza Khandan Mahabadi and Keyvan Bazhan, which they could not afford.
Iranian Writers Association (IWA) strongly protested the decision made by judicial authorities to set such bails for three of its members.
In a statement published on Tuesday, January 22, IWA said, the ten billion rials (roughly $240,000) bail set for Bektash Abtin, Kayvan Bazhan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi “is unacceptable” and they should be released immediately.
The large bail set for Abtin, Bazhan and Khandan Mahabadi was set after the judge rejected prominent lawyers, Nasser Zarafshan and Ms. Razieh Zaydi, to represent the indicted writers.
“Immediately after rejecting the proposed lawyers, the judge raised the amount of bail tenfold, from one billion to ten billion rials, and ordered the suspects to personally defend themselves,” the statement said.
According to the statement the writers were first accused of “propaganda against the regime” and then of two more serious charges, “assembly and collusion” against national security, and encouraging corruption and prostitution among women.
Meanwhile, the state-run IRNA news agency reported on January 23, that another writer, Yashar Soltani, has been found guilty and sentenced to five years for reporting fake news and insulting state-run institutions.
Yashar Soltani’s lawyer announced on January 23 that his client has been sentenced to five years in prison for exposing extensive corruption within the Tehran municipality.
Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran also banned Soltani, the editor-in-chief of the independent Memari News, from leaving Iran or participating in political and media activities for two years, said attorney Sadegh Kashani.