I put this up on Kos a while back but I think it got Terri’d.  Thought it might interest people here.

Some good news. Makes a change.

The good news, according to Reporters Sans Frontieres, is that the jailed Iranian blogger Arash Sigarchi was released on March 17 after the newspaper he was previously the editor of, Gilan Emrooz, paid a billion Irani rial (US$ 120,000) bail.

more below the fold

Arash Sigarchi, the journalist and blogger arrested on 17 January 2005 and sentenced one month later to 14 years in prison, was released from prison today. “It’s excellent news, we hope it is a positive sign for the four bloggers and cyberjournalists still imprisoned”, Reporters Without Borders said.

A court in Rashat, in northern Iran, finally decided to release Sigarchi on 17 March, after payment of one billion Rials (95,000 euros) bail. According to our sources this bail was paid by his newspaper, Gylan Emroz. The blogger, who was able to go home the same day, will still have to await his appeal hearing for confirmation of the ruling.

According to Human Rights Watch, the charges originally included espionage, aiding and abetting hostile governments and opposition groups, endangering national security and insulting Iran’s leaders

As reported on Kos by SusanHu a couple of months back, this was part of a general crackdown on bloggers/journalists in Iran and there was evidence that torture was used to obtain confessions.

There is a link for his newspaper, but unfortunately for me, and I suspect most of the rest of us, it’s only in Farsi (I think).

There was a lot of attention to the original arrest in the blogosphere, and the new (ish) Committee to Protect Bloggers  organised a day of action for Sigarchi and another blogger Mojtaba Saminejad, who remains in jail.  Details aren’t available as to whether or not this has had any bearing on his release.

Apologies if it has been covered as the story is a week old now.

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