Iranian dissident Ahmad Ghabel arrested


Ahmad Ghabel, the Iranian religious scholar, has been arrested once again by Islamic Republic authorities and transferred to Vakilabad Prison in Mashhad.

The Jaras opposition website reports that Ghabel’s 20-month prison sentence was confirmed by the appellate court on Sunday, and he was transferred to the quarantine section of Vakilabad.

Last year, he was sentenced to a one-year term for “propaganda against the regime” and eight months for “insulting the Supreme Leader.” He was also banned from giving media interviews or leaving his city and he was fined for possessing a satellite dish.

Ghabel was arrested in December 2009 while travelling to Qom to attend the funeral of dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. He was released on bail after 170 days in prison. After his release, he told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that 70 prisoners sentenced for drug crimes were hanged en masse at the notorious prison.

Ghabel was rearrested after he reported on the mass executions at Vakilabad Prison.

In recent months, there have been several reports of secret mass executions of drug convicts at Vakilabad Prison, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made direct reference to them in March while criticizing the situation of human rights in Iran.



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