Tehran, Iran, Aug. 04 – A number of
journalists and human rights defenders have been arrested in towns and cities
in western Iran, according to human rights
activists in the Iranian capital.
Mahmoud Salehi, the spokesman for the Organisational Committee to Establish
Trade Unions, was arrested in the early hours of Thursday. The arrest follows
Wednesday’s nabbing of two Kurdish activists in the city of Sanandaj by plainclothes security agents.
Jalal Qavami, a journalist and a member of the editorial board of the journal
Payam-e Mardom, was arrested at his place of work after agents of Iran’s dreaded Ministry of
Intelligence and Security initially raided his residence. Azad Zamani, an
activist in the Association in Defence of Children’s Rights was also arrested
in Sanandaj. Previously, Madeh Ahmadi was arrested in the Kurdish city.
The news comes as the death toll from Wednesday’s clashes between people and
State Security Forces in the town of Saqqez reached 13. Official media have
been silent on the deaths but several outlets have reported that clashes took
According to local hospital officials, authorities have refused to hand over
the corpse of seven of those killed that are currently being held at the
Roya Toloui, the editor of Rassan, a monthly based in Sanandaj, was also
recently arrested during a gathering organised in protest against the murder
of a young Kurd by Iran’s State Security Forces after she was summoned by the
intelligence unit of the SSF on several occasions in the past few months on
charges of “disturbing the peace” and “acting against national security”. She
had also been accused of “inciting ethnic division”.
Tens of other demonstrators in the volatile Kurdish town have also been
arrested according to eye-witness reports. Many more have been arrested
during anti-government protests and clashes throughout the provinces of
Kurdistan and Western Azerbaijan.