Iranian Journalist Soheil Arab Forced into Internal Exile after 8 Years in Prison

Soheil Arabi, an award-winning Iranian journalist is now under two year’s internal exile in Iran after serving his seven and half years jail term.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has strongly condemned the government of Iran for unrelenting persecution of Arabi who was released from prison on Wednesday after being detained for nearly eight years.

Arabi, who was awarded the RSF Press Freedom Prize in the citizen-journalist category in 2017 must now spend two years in Borazjan, a city in the south of the country more than 1,000 km from his Tehran home.

Arabi’s family condemned the additional sentence along with the fact that he was imprisoned “illegally for 285 days,” 

According to Arabi’s lawyer, the 285 days should be discounted from the time he has to spend in internal exile. 

“One of the world’s most repressive countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran does not content itself with arresting and jailing its citizens arbitrarily but also gives them ‘complementary sentences’ in order to silence them forever,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran/Afghanistan desk. 

Arabi was arrested in Tehran in late 2013, he was successively sentenced to three years in prison, 30 lashes, and a heavy fine. 

A few months later, Arabi was sentenced to death but the sentence was then overturned and, in 2015, he was finally sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

During the first few months that he was held, Arabi was allegedly tortured to force him to confess to his involvement in the creation of a Facebook network that allegedly blasphemed Islam and spread information critical of the Iranian regime.

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