x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Tehran police arrest would-be water fight participants

After July's huge water fight by hundreds of youths in central Tehran outraged Iranian conservatives, police arrest 'a handful' who wanted to repeat the event.

TEHRAN // Iranian police arrested "a handful of people" who wanted to engage in water fights at a park in central Tehran, the deputy police chief, Ahmad Reza Radan, said yesterday

"A handful of people who wanted to challenge social norms and [engage] in water fights were arrested by the police on Friday,"the day the water fight was to be held - at Ab-o-Atash (Water and Fire) park in Tehran, Brigadier Radan told the Mehr news agency.

"The people who involve in such actions are either stupid or not respectful of the law," Mr Radan said. "The police will not allow them to achieve their goals and will confront the main organisers" of such events.

In late July, several hundred youths took part in a huge water fight using plastic water pistols as well as bottled water at the same venue in heat-weary Tehran, arranging the event on Facebook and through mobile text messages.

Ten of them were arrested as photos of boys and girls in drenched clothing emerged on social networking websites and eventually made their way into the media, to the anger of conservatives.

The chief of the country's morality police, General Ahmad Rouzbahani, warned then that the police would act forcefully against such events happening "in public places, or anywhere throughout the country".