Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Iranian Student Prisoner Missing

Reuters, The Peninsula:
Iran's judiciary said yesterday it had issued an arrest warrant for high-profile student activist Ahmad Batebi after he failed to return from prison leave, the official Irna news agency reported.

Batebi was convicted of endangering national security in 1999 after being photographed holding aloft the blood-stained shirt of a friend during mass student protests. Initially sentenced to death, he was given 10 years jail time on appeal. "He was granted leave for his wedding but has not come back to prison," Irna quoted Tehran deputy prosecutor Mahmoud Salarkia as saying.

"Batebi's leave was extended a couple of times because he had just got married. Unfortunately, his continued absence led to an arrest warrant being issued," Salarkia said.