Iranian economist to serve out prison sentence
Iranian economist Fariborz Rais Dana was arrested today in Tehran to serve out a one-year sentence.
The Workers’ Rights Defenders website reports that Rais Dana was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison. He sentence relates to a media interview in which he criticized the government’s plans for restructuring subsidies.
In an interview with Persian BBC, only a few hours after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced his subsidy plans on Iranian state television, Rasi Dana accused the Ahmadinejad administration of “illusion therapy” and emphasized that the government’s actions would wreak havoc on the economy.
His statement led to his immediate arrest in December of 2010, and he was released after a month on bail.
The Middle East Economic Association spoke out against his arrest, calling for his immediate release.
Later, Rais Dana was sentenced to one year in prison for a series of charges including “membership in the Writer’s Association, preparing seditious announcements against the regime, giving interviews to BBC and VOA, and accusing the Islamic Republic of abusing prisoners and holding show trials.”