IRAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TIES TO MONARCHIST GROUP
February 17, 2010: An Iranian court sentenced Amir-Reza Arefi to death for ties to an illegal group called the Iranian Royalist Society, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.
Arefi's lawyer, Mohammad Mostafai, said the 21-year-old man was sentenced in Tehran on February 17. The revolutionary court also ruled that Arefi tried to plant bombs at polling stations during the presidential election in June.
But Arefi was arrested two months before the vote was held.
He is the third person to be given the death penalty for alleged ties to the Iranian Royalist Society. The other two -- Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani -- were executed on January 28. Arefi has 20 days to appeal his death sentence.
Goudarz Eghtedari, a human rights activist based in Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon, tells Radio Farda that no one knows whether the Iranian Royalist Society actually exists. He says some observers believe it was created by Iran's Intelligence Ministry and is used as a pretext to arrest people. (Sources: RFE/RL, 18/02/2010)