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Three opposition figures jailed - human rights group

PARIS, March 2, 2000 (AFP) - Three leaders of one of the main secular opposition groups in Iran, the Iranian nation party, have been sentenced to long prison terms, the League for the Defense of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) said Thursday.

The group said a court in Teheran had sent Bahram Namazi, 65, Khosrow Seyf, 68, and Farzine Mokhber, 58, to prison for between 13 and 15 years for "illegal political activities and anti-government propaganda."

The men were arrested in July 1999 after student demonstrations in Teheran and held in Evin prison before being tried on an unknown date, the group said.

The Iranian nation party was headed by Dariush Foruhar, a minister in the early days of the Islamic republic, who was assassinated with his wife in Teheran in November 1998.

The LDDHI said it is "extremely concerned about the conditions in which the (sentences) were handed down and demands the immediate and unconditional release of the three men, who are prisoners of conscience."