Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Publish date: March 03 • Printable version    

Iranian authorities continue arrest of dissidents

Hessam Firoozi

Iranian authorities have started a new series of arrests as election protests continue nine months after the disputed June presidential elections.

Hessam Firouzi, human rights activists and physician to several political prisoners, was arrested by 15 security officers at his home. They also arrested his neighbour, Hamaseh Ghafari and raided the home of his nephew who is missing since two months ago.

Mohboubeh Karami, member of the One Million Signature Campaign to end discriminatory laws was also arrested last night charged with “disturbance and participation in gatherings.” This is the fifth time authorities have arrested Ms. Karami.

Human rights activist and blogger, Behzad Mehrani was taken into custody today and at least two more activists were arrested in Esfahan last night.

On a higher note, three journalists were released last night in Tehran. Keyvan Samimi, executive director of Nameh monthly, Reza Norbakhsh, editor-in-chief of Farhikhtegan and Keyvan Mehregan, political editor of Etemad were all released on bail after months in jail.

In the election protests, which have been going on in Iran since the disputed June presidential election, over 100 journalists have been summoned or detained by the judiciary and 35 of them are still in prison.

After continued protests against these arrests, over the past days the judiciary has released over ten journalists and political prisoners on bail.

A number of journalists have however been handed heavy prison terms charged with various crimes from threatening national security to insulting authorities.

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