At least six human rights advocates were reported to have been arrested in Iran on Wednesday, dampening hopes that the government was easing its campaign of arrests ahead of the Iranian New Year on March 21.
In another signal of continued government pressure, Fatimeh Karroubi, the wife of the opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, wrote in a public letter that progovernment forces had demonstrated outside their apartment building in northern Tehran on Sunday, pelting the building with tomatoes and eggs.
The Iranian Committee of Human Rights Reporters reported on its Web site that at least five activists had been arrested in Tehran and one in the southern province of Khuzestan. Another report said that two students, in Shiraz and Kermanshah, were jailed after raids on their homes on Tuesday.
Hundreds of Iranians were jailed earlier this year to thwart the opposition’s efforts to revive last year’s mass protests in time for Feb. 11, the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Hopes that the government might be ending its campaign, though slight, were raised in the past week as more than a dozen prisoners were released on bail.
“There was a wave of releases, but there is also a wave of arrests,” said Akbar Atri, a former student leader in Tehran who is now a human rights advocate in Washington. He said that bail figures for those released were large, and suggested that the government was simply solving a problem it created with so many dete… >>>