[JURIST] An Iranian court has sentenced the managing editor of the monthly Aftab, Isa Saharkhiz [Iran Press profile], to four years in jail and barred him from working in the press for five years after he was convicted of publishing articles against the constitution and offending the state media, according to ISNA [media website], the Iranian student news agency. Saharkhiz, a well-known press activist whose publications have been closed down in the past, said he had only heard about his sentence from news reports, but he would not appeal because Iran's judiciary was not independent. Reuters has more.
The Iranian government began a crackdown on independent media [JURIST report] earlier this year, prompting the Committee to Protect Journalists [advocacy website], to which Saharkhiz belongs, to condemn Iran's record [JURIST report] in its annual report [text] on media repression. Last week, a spokesman for the government of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official website; BBC profile] urged Iranian prosecutors to pursue charges [JURIST report] against several Iranian newspapers who have published articles accusing Ahmadinejad of financial wrongdoing.