x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Iran confirms dual national among people arrested during protests

Judiciary spokesman says 55 protesters still in custody in Tehran but many others released across the country

Iranian anti-riot police prevent university students from joining other protesters in Tehran on December 30, 2017. AP Photo
Iranian anti-riot police prevent university students from joining other protesters in Tehran on December 30, 2017. AP Photo

A person with dual nationality was among the hundreds of people arrested during recent anti-government protests in Iran, a judicial official said on Sunday.

"As far as I was able to find out, we had a dual national arrested and this person had been taking pictures and filming," judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told a weekly news conference

He gave no further details, but earlier this month another judicial official had said a European citizen was arrested during anti-government protests in Borujerd county in western Iran, without specifying their nationality.

The official accused the detainee of having been "trained by European intelligence services ... leading the rioters".

At least 22 people died and hundreds were arrested in the anti-government demonstrations that began in late December. The protests, the most widespread in Iran since 2009, were initially sparked by anger at the weak economy and official corruption, but escalated rapidly, with some protesters calling for the overthrow of the government.

Mr Mohseni Ejei said 55 people were still being detained in Tehran while some of the 400 held across the country were released on Saturday and Sunday.

A reformist Iranian MP, Mahmoud Sadeghi, said last week that about 3,700 people had been arrested in connection with the protests.

Iran restored access to the messaging app Telegram on Saturday after blocking the popular service to prevent the protests from spreading. It restored access to the picture-sharing site Instagram last week. Pictures and videos of the protests were often posted on social media to encourage more people to take part.

____________

Read more:

Trump approves Iran nuclear deal 'one last time' and imposes sanctions on 14 entities

Iran protests were not just about economy, Rouhani says in dig at hardliners

Ahmadinejad reportedly arrested for inciting anti-government protests

_____________