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Iranian cartoonist Hadi Heidari arrested

Hadi Heidari a pr 3503317b - Iranian cartoonist Hadi Heidari arrested
Security forces believed to belong to the intelligence unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard have arrested Hadi Heidari, a prominent cartoonist, at his Tehran office in Tehran, human rights groups reported.
“This young man walked into the newspaper office with a warrant. He showed Hadi the paper and they took him away quietly”, colleagues of the reformist journalist at Shahrvand Daily told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
The sources said that they were not certain which organisation arrested Mr Heidari, but added that it was highly likely that his arrest is part of the new wave of crackdowns on reformist press and activists.
Mr Heidari’s last cartoon was related to the terrorist attacks in Paris.
A member of the central committee of the banned reformist Participation Party, Mr Heidari was first arrested in 2009 in the aftermath of the disputed presidential election on charges of “organising illegal rallies and acting against national security,” and spent a month in detention before being released. He was again arrested in December 2010 on charges of “propaganda against the state,” and was released two months later on bail of about £10,000.
Earlier this month six prominent journalists and newspaper editors were rounded up in Tehran on charges of “assisting foreign powers to infiltrate into Iran’s domestic affairs”.
The arrests come as tension between Iran’s reforming president, Hassan Rouhani, and his conservative opponents over the country’s nuclear agreement and its future are turning increasingly bitter.
Iran’s conservatives, led by the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei have warned that the US and its Western allies are trying to infiltrate Iran’s political establishment through cultural and economic links as the country opens up its doors to the international community following the July nuclear deal.
“Lest we jump on the wagon of the word ‘infiltration’ and begin arresting innocent people arbitrarily for our political gains”, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani cautioned in a televised message last week.
By Ahmed Vahdat
News source The Telegraph
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