The protests in Iran have now entered their sixth day and have spread to at least 16 out of 31 provinces in the country. Unlike 2009, the last time Iran witnessed mass demonstrations, the recent unrest has not been centered in big cities, but has instead rocked the country’s smaller cities. This makes it more difficult to keep abreast of all the arrests, but IranWire will continue to monitor events and arrests as much as possible.
Kashan Prosecutor Threatens Protesters with Capital Punishment
In the central city of Kashan, 50 to 60 people have been arrested and the city’s prosecutor, Mohammad Takbirgoo, has gone as far as threatening the protesters with capital punishment.
“Based on the law, those who intend to fight the regime are considered to be ‘corrupt on Earth’ and we will deal with them accordingly,” Takbirgoo said. According to Iranian law, people convicted of “corruption on Earth” and “fighting the regime” should face the death penalty.
Students in Tehran
According to the authorities, more than 450 people have been arrested in Tehran despite the capital city not being a main epicenter for the protests. Leila Hosseinzadeh, a student of social sciences at Tehran University who is well known for her social activism, is among more than a dozen students who have been arrested. On December 31 and January 1, 15 students were arrested as they left the university. When the student union held a meeting with the university’s chancellor to follow up on their situation, authorities arrested four union members. The student union announced that it holds the minister for higher education responsible for any arrests of students.
Some reports indicate that these four people have now been released.
Mohammad Sharifi Moghadam, a student at Sharif University, was also arrested on December 30 and is being kept at Evin Prison’s Ward 209. He has reportedly started a hunger strike.
Other Arrests in Tehran Province
Tehran’s prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, said the people who had been arrested had become “excited.” He compared them with people involved in “the sedition of 2009,” the name the Iranian regime uses to refer to the Green Movement that emerged after the disputed presidential election that year.
Reports indicate that Evin Prison is being made ready for new political prisoners. At the same time, all political prisoners in Evin and Karaj’s Rajai Shahr prison have been told that their previously-approved request for parole has now been denied.
Tohid Alinasab and Nayeb Rezayi were among the first people to be arrested in Tehran, on December 30 near Ferdowsi Square. They have not been heard from since.
Gohar Eshghi, the mother of Sattar Beheshti, a working-class blogger who was killed in 2012, had wanted to join the protests but has been barred from leaving her house by security forces.
Colonel Abdollahzadeh Pashaki, the police commander of Rabat Karim county in Tehran’s province, said a man and a woman, respectively referred to as R.A and F.Gh, had been arrested. R.A had published a call for demonstrations on Instagram and authorities found him after tracking his mobile phone. F.Gh, a 47-year old bank employee who is originally from Sarab, was arrested for being an alleged “ringleader” of the Rabat Karim protests.
In Karaj, Haji Reza Shakarami, the city’s prosecutor, said “a number of ringleaders” had been arrested and more arrests would take place in the coming days.
Three of the “ringleaders” of a gathering in Hamedan have been arrested, according to Fars News Agency.
More than 100 people have been arrested in Arak, according to Ali Aghazadeh, the provincial governor-general.
Authorities have arrested many people in the city of Khoy in Iran’s Markazi province. IranWire has been given the details of four of those arrested: Rohollah Hossseinzadeh, age 22; Mohammad Gholanji, 18; Yahya Zeinali, 28; Alireza Jabari, 20.
According to the Iranian Labor News Agency, a “number of protesters” were arrested in the city of Takestan on Sunday, December 31. Protesters in the city had attacked the seminary.
Four have been arrested in the county of Azadshahr in Golestan province, according to the county’s police commander.
The last few days have also seen the arrest of Gonabadi Dervish citizens, a religious community that regularly faces discrimination and oppression at the hands of the Iranian authorities. Kasra Nouri, a student of human rights in Tehran University and a manager for the Majzooban-e Noor website, Mohammad Sharifi Moghadam, Mohammad Reza Dervish and Faeze Abdipoor were at Dey Hospital to visit their colleague who is a patient there when they were violently arrested and sent to the Intelligence Ministry’s unit at Ward 209 at Evin Prison. According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency, they’ve started a hunger strike.