Mohammad Ali Abtahi

Mohammad Ali Abtahi

Location: Tehran, Iran
35° 42' 39.0168" N, 51° 24' 57.6576" E
Status: Released
Arrested between 16 Jun 2009 and 22 Nov 2009
Campaign Site:

From Wikipedia: Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former reformist vice president and an adviser to Mehdi Karoubi, a reformist candidate. Mr Abtahi used to update his blog each day for several years and share his opinion on different topics, including Iranian issues.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi was arrested on June 16, 2009 during the aftermath of the 2009 presidential elections and subsequent protests. He reportedly made a videotaped confession following his arrest, in which he stated that the opposition’s claims of a stolen election were false, and that opposition leaders had conspired in advance to misrepresent the vote. According to the statement, former presidents, Mohammad Khatami and Rafsanjani had taken an "oath" not to abandon each other in their support for former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi as they prepared to stage a Velvet Revolution in order to avenge their defeat in Iranian presidential election, 2005. According to human rights groups, similar confessions by Iranian political prisoners are almost always obtained under duress.

In response members of his and other arrested reformists gathered at his home issued a statement denouncing his confession, saying “not only do we not accept the confession, we also know that Abtahi said these things due to a long period of imprisonment for the purpose of obtaining a confession.” In a court hearing, his wife Fahimeh Mousavinejad, dismissed her husband’s confession as false and "not at all in Mr. Abtahi’s style. ... As his family, we know the way he expresses himself. Many people have read his blog. The sentences he was using were not his own.”

Abtahi's photos from the trial show signs of probable torture use during his imprisonment.

Following Abtahi's record as the first Iranian cabinet member to blog while in office, on August 26, 2009, he also became the first known Iranian prisoner to blog while still at prison.[7] A few days after that prison blog entry, however, his website was suddenly taken offline.

According to the BBC, on November 22, 2009, Mr Abtahi has been temporarily released on bail of 7bn rials ($425,000) after 160 days in detention. Irna quoted an unnamed court official as saying: "Abtahi was sentenced to six years in prison for acting against national security and propaganda activity.

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