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Concern in Iran over Fate of Hundreds of Detainees

Concern in Iran over Fate of Hundreds of Detainees

Monday, 8 January, 2018 - 07:00
A student continues to demonstrate after anti-riot police threw a smoke grenade on protesters at Tehran University, December 30, 2017. (AP Photo)

Iran’s Parliament discussed Sunday in a closed-door session the repercussions of protests that have hit the country over economic conditions before turning against the regime. The interior minister, the head of intelligence and several commanders from the police and Revolutionary Guard also took part in the special session, which mainly tackled the conditions of students who were detained by the authorities during the street protests, which left more than 22 dead.

A Tehran city council member, Nahid Khodakarami, called on officials to be transparent and announce the exact number of detainees. He also warned from repeating the scenario of killing protesters in prisons, similar to what happened in the summer of 2009.

While some deputies said that security apparatus officials presented “assertions that calm was restored in Iran in the past few days,” lawmaker Hedayatollah Khademi, a representative for the town of Izeh, told a completely different story, according to reformist news agency ILNA.

Khademi said that “most detainees in Izeh province were juveniles, between the ages of 16 and 24.” ILNA also said that lawmakers were not convinced about the “shallow reports presented by security officials concerning the protests.” Reformist deputy Mahmoud Sadeghi was quoted as saying that the fate of 10 out of around 90 university students was still unknown.

Meanwhile, Behrouz Nemati, a spokesman for parliamentary speaker Ali Larjani, said that he might lift the internet controls put in place during the unrest, including the ban on Iran’s most popular messaging application, Telegram. “The parliament is not in favor of keeping Telegram filtering in place, but it must pledge that it will not be used as a tool by the enemies of the Iranian people,” Nemati said.

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