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Iran imprisons a prominent whistleblower

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A prominent Iranian whistleblower was arrested and sent to prison to serve a 13-month sentence after he was convicted of “spreading lies to disturb the public mind,” Iranian media said Sunday.

State-run IRNA news agency reported that the Tehran prosecutor summoned Yashar Soltani and sent him to prison.

The report also said a court of appeal issued the verdict after 17 plaintiffs appealed the decision by a lower court, but gave no details about the earlier case.

In recent years, Soltani has routinely published reports on corruption in public bodies.

Authorities in the past few months have also detained several journalists and activists on security charges.

In 2019, Soltani was sentenced to five years in prison after his series of exposes alleging massive corruption in land deals linked to Tehran’s mayor at the time, Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, who is now the frontrunner in the presidential election scheduled for June 28. Soltani was later freed on bail.

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