Monday , 24 January 2022

Pro-Rouhani Editor Arrested Ahead of May 2017 Elections Remains Detained Without Charge

CHRI – The family of Tahereh Riahi, an editor who has been detained since December 2016 without charge, is calling on President Hassan Rouhani to “keep his word on individual liberties and the rights of citizens” and facilitate Riahi’s release, an informed source told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

“Now that Mr. Rouhani is delivering slogans on freedom and the rights of citizens, it would be nice if he doesn’t forget those who helped him get votes four years ago,” said the source. “Tahereh’s family wants the Rouhani government to show that they mean what they say and will take actions accordingly.”

Rouhani is running for re-election on May 19, 2017.

“Tahereh worked for the media division of Mr. Rouhani’s campaign, so why was she held in solitary confinement for no apparent reason?” added the source.

Riahi, the social affairs editor of the state-funded Borna News Agency in Tehran, was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Ministry on December 27, 2016 and told by her interrogators that she was being accused of “propaganda against the state.”

However, more than four months after her arrest, no formal charges have been brought against her and no trial date has been set.

Riahi, who was in solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s Ward 209 (under the control of the Intelligence Ministry) until her recent transfer to a cell with four other inmates in Ward 240, is in a demoralized state, the informed source told CHRI.

In January 2016, Riahi’s family was told that her left cornea was injured during an interrogation session.

Since December 2016, during the run-up to Iran’s presidential and local councils elections on May 19, 2017, many other pro-Rouhani and reformist journalists and political activists have been arrested by the Intelligence Ministry or the Revolutionary Guard, including Hengameh Shahidi, Ehsan Mazandarani, Morad Saghafi, Ramin Karimian, Mahsa Rojati, Mona Moafi, Mehrak Karimpour Andalibi, and film director Saleh Deldam.

In March 2017, Rouhani asked his Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli to report on the “suspicious arrests” of a number of media activists on the eve of the elections.”

The Interior Ministry has yet to announce the results of its investigation.