Kayvan Samimi Behbahani, journalist and left-leaning labor rights activist. (IRNA)

August 22, 2020

The Islamic Republic Judiciary has summoned a well-known Iranian journalist and a “National-Religious” activist, Kayvan (Keyvan) Samimi, to serve a three-year prison sentence.

Publishing a copy of the summons on his channel on the Telegram messaging app, Samimi has announced that he should go to prison on Monday next week.

The 72-year-old political activist is charged with “assembly and collusion to act against the security of the country,” which refers to his presence at a rally to celebrate International Labor Day on May 1.

On his Telegram Channel, Samimi has once again defended the “peaceful protests of the poor.” He said, “By imprisoning an old Religious-Nationalist activist who openly defends a social movement that demands answers,” the Islamic Republic security and intelligence agents try to intimidate me and strike a blow at [anti-establishment] protests.”

National-Religious left-leaning activists who opposed the monarchy initially fully supported the Islamic Republic but gradually began criticizing the actions of the regime.

Furthermore, Samimi has emphasized that despite such actions by the “establishment-linked extremists,” the movement of deprived workers “has become more institutionalized in Iran.”

Samimi has concluded, “As a follower of the social movement, I will most likely be more effective behind bars in strengthening the workers’ aspirations and movement to seek justice.”

“I have never given up on telling the truth, and after serving these three years, I will not give up if I survive,” he recently said after his three-year prison sentence was upheld.

Earlier, Kayvan Samimi was imprisoned for six years immediately after the Green Movement protests that rocked the Islamic Republic in 2009.

Samimi is a member of the Council of Nationalist-Religious Activists of Iran, a political group that presents itself as “nonviolent, religious semi-opposition. He is the editor-in-chief of the movement’s magazine, Iran-i Farda (Tomorrow’s Iran).

RFE-RL

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