Reports from Iran’s restive Khuzestan Province and the northern city of Tabriz on Sunday say security forces are systematically arresting civil activists, may at their homes.
Human Rights Activists News Agency, HRANA, reported that the Intelligence Ministry arrested Siamak Koushi an Iranian Azeri activist and released him a few hours later. Then, the Revolutionary Guard Intelligence Organization arrested him again. He was also arrested last year during the war between Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
A large gathering took place on Saturday in Tabriz to voice support for protesters in Khuzestan who have been holding anti-government demonstrations since July 15. HRANA said that following that gathering, intelligence agents began arresting activists.
Videos received by Iran International show that special riot police transferred the detainees in blindfold to a police station. A lawyer, Mostafa Daneshjou, tweeted that blindfolding detainees violates the Law on Rights of Citizens. Images received from Tabriz also show a heavy presence of security forces and their special anti-riot vehicles in the streets.
Mohammad Al-Hashem, the Friday Prayer leader of Tabriz however tried to minimize these events. He said that “separatists” tried to use some incidents for their own ends, but “the people recognizing the situation and conditions of the country, express their concerns and complaints through legal channels, speaking with officials and members of parliament.”
Al-Hashem’s reference to separatists refers to allegations that both the Khuzestan protests and the Tabriz gathering were organized by Arabs and Azeris respectively who want to divide Iran. Pro-government sources promote this theory to discourage people in other regions to join the protests.
Reports from Khuzestan have said that all ethnic and linguistic groups participate in the demonstrations and Iranian in several non-Arab regions have voiced their support for protesters in Khuzestan.
Source » iranbriefing