Iran has detained a prominent chef and Instagram influencer, known for his videos promoting Persian cooking, in its crackdown on nationwide protests, human rights groups and supporters have said.

Navab Ebrahimi was arrested in Tehran on Wednesday and taken to the city’s Evin prison, the Human Rights Activists News Agency said.

No reason was given for the arrest of Ebrahimi, who had 2.7 million followers on Instagram but whose account is no longer accessible. But followers said the arrest coincided with him posting a recipe for Persian cutlets on the day Iranian authorities marked the third anniversary of the killing of the Revolutionary Guards general Qassem Suleimani.

Some Iranians opposed to the regime have made a habit of posting images of cutlets on the anniversary of his death, in reference to the manner of his killing in a US drone strike in Iraq.

The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said: “Chef and influencer Navab Ebrahimi has been arrested in Tehran. Social media users speculate that his arrest had something to do with his Instagram story.”

Nik Yousefi, an Iranian film-maker and photographer who was arrested in October as part of the crackdown and then released, wrote on Twitter that Ebrahimi had been arrested and his cafe in Tehran, Noj, shut down.

As the Iranian authorities organised commemorative events this week mourning Suleimani’s death, opponents shared images of people torching his image on banners.

Iran has arrested at least 14,000 people, according to the UN, in the wave of protests sparked by the death in custody in September of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who had been arrested for allegedly breaching the strict dress code for women.

Prominent journalists, film-makers, lawyers and activists have been arrested. Some have been released on bail while others remain in prison.

Source » theguardian