Security


Iran: Over 11,000 arrests in south




Teheran, 27 August(Aki) – A total 11,157 people have been arrested over the past two months in Iran's oil rich southwestern province of Khuzestan, close to the border with Iraq, the pro-government Iskanews agency reported, quoting unnamed sources close to Khuzestan's judiciary.

Most of Iran's minority ethnic Arab population lives in Khuzestan, which contains Shiite and Sunnis.

Of those arrested, 1,684 were arrested for 'immorality' and are being questioned by the Iranian authorities. Others were released after they signed a document undertaking to keep within the dictates of Islam in future, according to the judicial sources.

Among those arrested was the well known Iranian rapper, Samer, who is extremely popular with the country's Arab population.

Iran has arrested more than 200 western music fans attending a rock concert on grounds they were breaking the country's strict Islamic sharia law, local media and witnesses said on Sunday.

A witness said police raided the concert as it was going to end late on Wednesday night near the town of Karaj, about 50km west of the capital.

"Police detained the young people who had gathered to enjoy music in a private orchard," said the witness, who requested anonymity for fear of government retaliation.

Iran's hardline authorities have arrested hundreds of young people in its latest crackdown on public morals. On 5 August, some 230 Western music fans were arrested during a police raided an underground rock concert near the town of Karaj, about 50 kilometres west of the capital, Tehran.

The public prosecutor in Karaj, Ali Farhadi, was quoted as saying the concert goers were arrested for contravening Iran's strict Islamic sharia law. He described the concert as "satanic."

Khuzestan's provincial capital, Ahvaz, was the scene of deadly attacks in October 2005 and January 2006, which Iran blamed on elements linked to Britain, whose forces are stationed in the region around the Iraqi city of Basra, over the border.

Earlier this month, the intelligence ministry said it had foiled a rebel plan to carry out a "terrorist act" in the oil-rich border province. The authorities said last Wednesday several several members of a "separatist group" had been arrested and a stash of weapons seized from their hideout.

 


 

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