Iran Sentences 8 Facebook Activists to Prison

Eight Facebook users have been sentenced to prison by a court in Iran for speaking out against the government on the social media site.

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Photo: Gil C / Shutterstock

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reports that jail terms ranging from eight to 21 years were handed down to the eight Facebook page admins for plotting against the government, threatening national security, and spreading propaganda. The eight people were not identified.

The report issued over the weekend states that the verdicts for the online activists were made back in April with a number of subsequent appeals being turned down.

Facebook has been banned in Iran for some time but users have accessed the site and other like it through means such as VPNs.

The bans have been in place since 2009 though in September of last year, blocks were temporarily lifted but imposed once again.

Iran has had a difficult relationship with Facebook in recent months, with one court even summoning Mark Zuckerberg to appear before it back in May, a summons that unsurprisingly went nowhere.

Meanwhile, despite the Iranian people being banned from using social media, Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani has two Twitter accounts, one in English and another in Persian. As of this writing, he hasn’t tweeted anything about the prison sentences.