Eight Iranian conservationists get jail terms on espionage charges: Judiciary 

February 18, 2020 - 19:12

TEHRAN - From the Judiciary’s point of view, the dossier of environmentalists is regarded as an act against national security, the Judiciary spokesman announced on Tuesday, noting a guilty definite verdict has been issued in the case of the eight conservationists on charges of spying. 

According to MONGABAY, the eight environmentalists were all affiliated with the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF), a Tehran-based conservation organization that has been reportedly working to save the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) and other species.

“PWHF founder Morad Tahbaz and program manager Niloufar Bayani both received 10-year sentences each on charge of collaborating with the hostile government of the United States; cheetah researcher Houman Jowkar and biologist Taher Ghadirian were sentenced to eight years each on the same charge,” Gholam Hossein Esmaeili told a regular news briefing. 

He added, “Coordinator Sepideh Kashani on charges of cooperating with the hostile government of the U.S., big cat conservationist Amirhossein Khaleghi Hamidi on charges of spying for the United States and former PWHF staffer Sam Radjabi on charges of cooperating with the hostile government of the United States received six years each, while Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, a conservationist and wildlife photographer, received four years on charges of collusion and (illegal) gathering,” he added.

The Judiciary spokesman said, “Their sentences in the appeals court has been confirmed,” he said, underlining that the delivered verdicts are final and definite.  

MJ/PA

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