Sunday, December 19, 2010
Publish date: December 19 • Printable version    

New wave of arrests hits Iranian activists

On the first day of the implementation of subsidy cuts and the rising of energy and food prices, Iranian authorities began a new wave of arrests targeted at social and political activists.

Hadi Heydari, Fatemeh Arabsorkhi, Mohammad Shafii and Alireza Taheri were a number of reformist figures which were arrested today.

Hadi Heydari, journalist and caricaturist, was previously arrested in October at a gathering in support of political prisoners and incarcerated for over two weeks.

Kaleme website reports that the Ministry of Intelligence summoned them for questioning and arrested them for the alleged charge of “lack of cooperation” with the interrogators.

Intelligence officers have also arrested Fariborz Rais Daana, an economist and member of Iran’s Writer’s Association, and Abolfazl Tabarzadi, another political activist.

In the past year and a half, the Islamic Republic establishment has arrested thousands of dissidents who have challenged the legitimacy of the 2009 presidential elections and the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Although the mass street demonstrations that immediately followed the elections have ended, the arrests have continued as the government fears the protests have not been defused and are in fact like a fire under the ashes which may be stoked by the economic difficulties that the cutting of government subsidies could entail.

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