Here’s a continuation of the last post on the detained journalists, with a very personal story at the end.
The mother of Saba Azarpeyk, one of the arrested journalists, tells of an arrest without a warrant and the abuse of her brother. The Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseiny, who previously claimed to have no knowledge of the reason of arrest has claimed the arrests were not media related, and some were merely summoned to give an explanation about their activities.
The ultra-conservative daily Keyhan reported wrote on Wednesday: “Collaboration with feminist groups … creating division between Iranian ethnic groups, painting a dismal picture of the country, supporting detainees of the seditious movement and collaboration with foreign anti-Revolutionary media such as BBC and Radio Zamaneh are among the charges brought against the media detainees.”
Zamaneh chief editor Mohammadreza Nikfar has categorically denied working with these journalists, though he would consider it an honour to know them and work with them.
Sadly, the arrests didn’t stop at the detained journalists, the Bulletin News website, a site linked to Islamic Republic security bodies, announced that Ali Dehghan, who edits the economy section of Bahar daily, was arrested on a judicial warrant for being “a media element close to a number seditious groups.”
The intelligence ministry also issued a statement yesterday, January 30th, saying the detained journalists are “part of a network linked to arrogant powers” and that more arrests may be still in the picture.
In case you were wondering, Iranian authorities often refer to Western powers as “arrogant powers.”
Well, that’s the news roundup. In case you were wondering why we the Mezrab particularly care about the plight of Iranian prisoners, consider the following. The kind and quiet people who work hard to keep Mezrab running smooth, Mama Soup and Papa Dishwasher, they have both spent some time in Iranian political prisons. With the sheer number of prisoners being arrested, there is a chance the arrested will start to feel like numbers, rather than actual living beings with dreams and relatives who care for them. Just to give you an example of how it feels to be in prison, here a very short prison memory told by Mama Mezrab, made for Radio Zamaneh. If you don’t speak Persian, turn on captioning: