Prominent Reformist Figure Tajzadeh Reportedly Arrested In Iran
By RFE/RL's Radio Farda July 09, 2022
Iranian state media has announced the arrest of Mostafa Tajzadeh, the deputy interior minister in former President Mohammad Khatami's government and one of the most prominent reformist figures in the Islamic republic.
Tajzadeh has been accused of "a conspiracy to act against the country's security," the Mehr news agency said late on July 8.
Tajzadeh also was charged with "publishing falsehoods to disturb the public mind," adding that this is the reason authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.
The report gave no further details.
Neither the arresting agency nor the location where he is being held was disclosed.
Tajzadeh was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison following the disputed reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in 2009. The sentence was later increased by one year.
Tajzadeh is an outspoken critic of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. While serving his previous sentence he published open letters addressed to Khamenei from inside the prison.
The reformist activist also registered to run in a subsequent presidential election but was disqualified in preelection vetting by the Guardians Council.
The arrest of Tajzadeh coincided with the arrest of Mohammad Rasoulov and Mostafa al-Ahmed, two Iranian cinematographers and signatories of an anti-violence protest statement.
More than 100 Iranian cinematographers backed the statement, demanding that soldiers, who they wrote "have turned into the people's oppressors," lay down their weapons and "return to the arms of the nation."
Iranian state media has said the two filmmakers have been accused of "association with counterrevolution" and "inflammation and disrupting the psychological security of society" since the collapse in May of a residential tower in the southwestern city of Abadan, killing dozens of people.
Protests that took place after the collapse pointed the finger at government negligence and endemic corruption. As of mid-June, 13 people had been reported to have been arrested for construction violations.
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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