CAIRO — In recent weeks, Iranian security officials have unleashed a wave of arrests across the country in an effort to neutralize the political opposition, silence critical voices and head off widespread protests when the nation marks the anniversary of the revolution on Thursday, Iran analysts inside and outside the country said.
Though the government has refrained from arresting the principal leaders of the opposition, the category of people it has pursued has grown broader over time. While a number of well-known reformists were detained shortly after the contested presidential election in June, the ranks of those imprisoned now include artists, photographers, children’s rights advocates, women’s rights activists, students and scores of journalists. Iran now has more journalists in prison than any other country in the world, with at least 65 in custody, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Reports have filtered out from across Iran of people being roused from their beds during midnight raids and disappearing into the penal system without an official word to family and friends, and of overcrowded jails and long stays in solitary confinement, according to human rights groups inside and outside Iran.
Though the government does not report the numbers of those arrested, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a group based in New York, calculated that in the past two months alone at least 1,000 people have been put in prison, many arr… >>>