Iran activists dread midnight knock of police raid

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Iran’s human rights activists say they live in dread of the midnight knock on the door or the car that pulls up next to them on the street, fearing that at any moment they might be arrested in the government’s post-election clampdown.

They take precautions: moving only in small groups of two or three and positioning themselves near corners where there are several routes to make a dash for safety. They avoid telephones, purge e-mails and frequently change passwords.

“We fear for our lives. We can be detained at any moment,” said Zahra Saeidzadeh, a human rights activist, in a telephone interview from Tehran.

“There’s not much more we can do,” she said, adding that the government is intent “on silencing us.”

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