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Iran sentences writer to 5 years prison

The lawyer for an Iranian novelist Yusef Azizi says that his client has been sentenced to five years in prison for supporting anti-government demonstrations.

world Updated: Aug 10, 2008 19:01 IST

The lawyer for an Iranian novelist says his client has been sentenced to five years in prison for supporting anti-government demonstrations.

Yusef Azizi is a member of Iran's ethnic Arab minority and has written novels as well as non-fiction books.

His lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, says an Iranian court found Azizi guilty Sunday of "supporting unrest" during two days of protests in 2005. The rallies took place in oil-rich Khuzestan province, where most of Iran's minority Arabs live.

Azizi remains free on bail, pending an appeal. Arabs make up about 3 percent of Iran's 70 million people.