IRAN: Neighbor Worry about Further Repression

According to various media accounts, Iran’s government is going to new heights to silence the political opposition that could undermine upcoming parliamentary elections in early March. This further tightening is make the Islamic Republic’s regional neighbors increasingly nervous.

Most recently two high-profile female Iranian journalist named Parastou Dokouhaki and Marzieh Rasouli have been arrested. They are currently detained in Tehran’s odious Evin Prison, without formal charges.

Dokouhaki, blogger of “Written by a Woman,” had her home raided by agents.  She was able to alert her family by phone that she is being held in temporary detention.  Rasouli, another blogger, also suffered the same arrest as Dokouhaki, but was not given the same privilege of calling her family. Later, friends received a fake email sent from Rasouli’s confiscated laptop to let them know that Rasouli’s arrest was in fact a “mere rumor.”

Even more suspicious is the absence of obvious political dissent in Dokouhaki and Rasouli’s writings. People worry that other charges are being trumped up. Mehrad Vaezinejad, a contributor to the BBC and a friend of both women, concludes that Dokouhaki and Rasouli were targeted for allegedly having access to allies outside of Iran.


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