Security officials arrested Kurdnasab, 23, a journalist for the weekly Karafto, on July 21 at the newspaper’s offices in the Kurdistan provincial capital, Sanandaj, journalists at the weekly told CPJ. On September 21, a Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj convicted him of spying against the regime and sentenced him to three years in prison, his lawyer, Kourosh Fattahi, told CPJ. In November, a Kurdistan appeals court changed the charge to propaganda against the regime and reduced his sentence to six months.
Fattahi told CPJ that there was no specific evidence to support either of the charges. In Kurdnasab’s interrogation file, he was accused of reporting on protests and strikes, but authorities did not provide a basis for the accusations, his lawyer said.
Authorities held and interrogated Kurdnasab for nearly two months without granting him access to a lawyer before referring him to court on September 10, according to online news reports.