TEHRAN - Iranian dissident student leader Ali Afshari
has been sentenced to six years in jail for "attacking national
security", a source close to him said Monday.
He was also sentenced to five years deprivation of civic rights, which bars
him from holding any official post, such as teaching, as well as public
Afshari can appeal both Revolutionary Court verdicts.
The activist, a member of a pro-reform student movement known as the Office
to Consolidate Unity, has spent three years behind bars since 2000
including one year in solitary confinement.
In 2001, Afshari appeared on Iranian state
television confessing to a plot to overthrow the clerical regime and apologising to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for his "mistakes".
He later said he had made the confession under duress.
Afshari was among several dissidents who drew the
ire of Iranian authorities by taking part in an academic and cultural
conference in Berlin
in April 2000.
Political and social reforms in Iran were publicly debated at
the conference, held at the Heinrich Boell
Institute and called "Iran After the Elections", referring to the
then newly elected reformist-dominated parliament.
Iranian state television aired footage of the conference, which was
frequently interrupted by Iranian exiled dissidents who slammed the