August 25, 2005

Washington, D.C. Iranian sentenced in absentia to 7 years - Thursday, August 25, 2005 -

Mohsen Sazegara, an Iranian reformer who is a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, learned this week he had been sentenced in absentia to seven years in prison in his home country. The charges against him were not clear, he said.

Sazegara, 50, was a founder of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps at the outset of the Iranian revolution in 1979 but evolved into an outspoken critic of theocratic rule.

Sazegara was previously imprisoned in Iran for promoting changes in the constitution and for seeking a referendum on the charter. He tried to run for president in 2001, but Iran's powerful Council of Guardians rejected his candidacy, he said.