Seven bloggers and human rights activists have been arrested in Kermanshah and Ilam, and after a few weeks, nothing has been announced/published about their current situation and status.
According to human rights sources, during a new wave of arrests, Bahman Maleki, Farhad Heshmati, Ali Kouchakpour, Keivan Mohamadi and Hosein Tahmasbi in Kermanshah, and Javad Kheibar and Laleh Aghaei, were arrested in Ilam and their situation is still unknown. The reports show that Bahman Maleki was arrested at work on 30 December 2017, and was transferred to an unknown location after being severely beaten by the authorities. In addition, Keivan Mohamadi and Hosein Tahmasbi, two Kurdish media activists, were arrested on 3 January 2018, and were reportedly taken to Dizel-Abad Prison Detention Center.
Also, Farhad Heshmati and Ali Kouchakpour, two human rights activists and bloggers, were arrested on 14 January 2018 at the house of Mr Heshmati. According to the neighbours and presented witnesses, the house was investigated and electronic and computer devices as well as some books and other documents were taken by security guards.
According to reliable sources, these individuals were virtual environment activists who were detained in connection with the reflection and coverage of recent protests in Iranian cities.
Also, the Kurdistan Center for Democracy and Human Rights reported that there is still no information about the current situation and the status of Jawad Kheibar and Laleh Aghaei, who were arrested in Ilam.
Javad Kheibar is a media activist from Ilam who was arrested on 3 January 2018.
In the recent protests, titled and known as “Eterazat-e-Deimah”, a large number of people were arrested, beaten and tortured in various cities. During these protests, at least 25 people were killed and about 5,000 people were arrested in various cities in Iran, which for many of them, there is still no information given by the authorities about their current situation or location. In this regard, Iran’s Interior Minister, Rahmani Fazli, acknowledged in his TV interview that the Deimah protests took place in 100 cities in Iran, and protests in 40 cities led to violence.
The protests started from Mashhad on 29 December 2018 and very quickly spread to other cities. The Iranian regime’s security forces responded to the protests with bullets and iron fists.