Sakharov presentation in Iran canceled

TEHRAN, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The European Parliament said it canceled a visit to Iran after the Tehran government refused to allow the delegation to visit two human rights activists.

The five European representatives had been scheduled to travel to Iran Saturday to present the European Union's Sakharov Prize to activists Jafar Panahi and Nasrin Sotoudeh. Iranian media reported the government refused to grant permission to visit the pair, the BBC said.


The Iranian government said through a spokesman it was still willing to host the delegation under the original agenda, although the details of the agenda were not known, the BBC said.

Panahi has been under house arrest since 2010 for convictions on charges of spreading propaganda and acting contrary to Iran's national security.

Sotoudeh was jailed for six years on similar charges. She was arrested after defending opposition activists protesting the outcome of the disputed 2009 presidential election.

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