“Today, my innocent brother (Alireza Alinejad) has been sentenced to 8 years,” Masih Alinejad tweeted on July 16, 2020. 

The Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist, who lives in exile in the U.S., added: “Islamic Republic of Iran’s authorities stormed into prison his cell & hurriedly took him to trial. They’re scared of the anger of a nation as the hashtag #StopExecutionslnlran went viral yesterday.

“My brother Alireza's crimes are the following: a) loving his sister b) refusing to disown me on State TV c) refusing to co-operate with the Revolutionary Guards’ plot to lure me to Turkey and kidnap me to Iran.

“In my brother’s sentence, 2 years of his 8-year sentence is due to ‘insulting the Supreme Leader of Islamic Republic’ @Khamenei_fa. But the reality is, my brother had said the following: ‘I will only disown my sister if Khamenei disowns his on TV.’ Is this an insult?

“My brother is innocent and he is taken hostage by the Islamic Republic of Iran to punish me for my activities. Hostage-taking is in the DNA of this brutal regime.”