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Liberal dissidents sentenced to suspended prison terms in Iran
May 26th 2004
TEHRAN, May 26 (AFP) - Three liberal opposition members have been sentenced to suspended prison terms for "propaganda" against Iran by calling for a boycott of February polls, the state state news agency IRNA reported Tuesday.
A fourth defendant, Ali Mohammad Jahanghiri from Andimeshk in southwest Iran, was sentenced to six months in prison, but the verdict was commutted to a fine of three million rials (352 dollars).
The three others -- Hassan Asghari, Shapour Rashno and Ezzatollah Jafari -- were each sentenced to 91-day suspended terms.
On April 18, Iranian police arrested the four opposition members and detained them for six days.
Iranian conservatives control a sweeping two-thirds majority in parliament following the February 20 elections, confirming their grip on power at the expense of the reformist camp.
Reformists had dominated the assembly since 2000 but their power was decimated after thousands of MPs were banned from contesting the election on the grounds they did not respect the principles of the Islamic republic.