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Prisoners

Two Decades of Pressure Against Azeri Activist in Iran

December 7, 2023
Shohreh Mehrnami
1 min read
On November 24, government agents brought prominent Azeri activist Saleh Molaabbasi to prison
On November 24, government agents brought prominent Azeri activist Saleh Molaabbasi to prison
Saleh Molaabbasi’s daughter, Pinar, said that officers scaled the wall of the activist’s home at 8:00 a.m. to arrest him
Saleh Molaabbasi’s daughter, Pinar, said that officers scaled the wall of the activist’s home at 8:00 a.m. to arrest him
Officials shut down Saleh Molaabbasi’s billiards club and disrupted his family’s carpet business in Ahar
Officials shut down Saleh Molaabbasi’s billiards club and disrupted his family’s carpet business in Ahar

The relentless pressure on Iranian civil society by the security and judicial institutions continues unabated across the country. 

Azeri activists in West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardabil, and Zanjan are being subjected to heightened harassment by security agents in the provinces of West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardabil and Zanjan.

While some of those detained in recent weeks have been released, Azeri activists continue to be arrested and prosecuted. 

On November 24, government agents sent Saleh Molaabbasi, a prominent civil activist from Ahar, in East Azerbaijan province, to prison.

His daughter, Pinar, told IranWire that the officers scaled the wall of the activist’s home at 8:00 a.m. to arrest him. 

A few hours later, she was informed that he had been transferred to Ahar Prison to serve a 91-day sentence.

This civil activist was charged with "disseminating false information to disturb public order and engaging in propaganda against the system" over his Instagram posts. 

In the past two decades, Molaabbasi was repeatedly imprisoned for his unwavering advocacy for social and political change in the country. 

He was taken into custody during last year’s nationwide protests before being temporarily released from Tabriz prison after a 17-day hunger strike.

During Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency (2005-2013), Molaabbasi was admitted to a masters in archaeology but was denied the opportunity to pursue his studies. 

Intelligence officials shut down his billiards club and disrupted his family’s carpet business in Ahar. They also threatened villagers not to rent him land to farm.

Pinar Molaabbasi also disclosed that agents of the Islamic Republic threatened to expel her sister from university.

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