Iran Arrests Poet as Part of Crackdown on Dissenters

An Iranian poet was arrested as part of a crackdown on dissidents, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI).

Hila Sedighi was reportedly arrested at Tehran’s international airport while returning from the United Arab Emirates on January 7. Dozens of activists and journalists have been arrested since October on charges lsuch as ‘propaganda’ as part of a government crackdown. Elections for the Iranian parliament will be held in February.

Sedighi supported reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi in the 2009 election. In the ensuing ‘Green Movement’ protests against the winner, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, she read poetry at the demonstrations. The Green Movement alleged the election was fraudulent. The regime crushed the protests using heavy-handed police tactics.

The ICHRI told PBS in the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election "rape was routinely practiced as a matter of policy to intimidate young ordinary people from ever coming out to protest again."

Sedighi received a suspended jail sentence for her activism in 2011. The ICHRI believes her recent arrest was linked to that sentence.

For more information about human-rights abuses perpetrated by the Iranian regime, see Clarion Project’s Factsheet: Human Rights in Iran