Mokhtar Zarei, a Civil Rights activist in Sanandaj, was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in absentia by the Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj.

Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has been informed that the against Mokhtar Zarei was issued on Jan 6, 2019  by judge Behrooz Sharafi Yousofvand, head of Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj. Accordingly, Mokhtar Zarei was sentenced to two years of imprisonment on the charges of insulting the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and an additional year in prison for propaganda against the state.

The verdict was formally served on him over the several days ago.

The activist was summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office of Public and branch 2 of Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj on July 21 for criticising Iran’s Supreme Leader “Ali Khamenei” in a letter. He was transferred to Sanandaj Central Prison based on a temporary arrest warrant.

He was released from Sanandaj Central Prison on bail after 17 days on August 8.

“After writing my critical letter to the leader, a new case has been filed against me,” He posted in his telegram channel before his arrest. “I had said in my letter that we had witnessed many undemocratic actions, violations of human rights, and denials of freedoms during the past three decades under his ruling as the political leadership of Iran. Therefore, he should at least be responsible enough to provide an explanation,” added Zarei. “He might be able to convince people like me that the problem lies elsewhere but taking people to court and fabricating charges will not silence them.”

Zarei, a former member of the Democratic Kurdish Students Union, was first arrested during 2010 winter at second memorial ceremony of Ibrahim Lotfallahi in Sanandaj. He was released on bail 80 days later.

He was arrested again in March 2014 and sentenced to a year in prison for “propaganda against the state” through posting political comments on Facebook. He was released a month later on bail. However, he was later tried at Sanandaj Revolutionary Court for this charge and he was sentenced to six months of punitive imprisonment in addition to one-year of suspended imprisonment for the duration of five years.