On 16 December 2015 Iranian poet Mohamadreza Haj Rostambegloo was arrested from his home by six Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization agents and was released on bail four days later from Karaj Central Prison, reported the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
The poet ’ s mother Maryam Soltani told the organisation that one of the agents informed her that her son had been “accused of insulting the sacred and spreading lies on social media and in his books” and that “they had been monitoring his activities for a long time”.
Soltani explained that the agents came to her house in the afternoon with her son in handcuffs and searched the premises. The 41-year-old poet’s passport, national ID card, mobile phone and tablet were confiscated.
Rostambegloo was released on 700 million Rial (approx. 21,500 Euros) bail on 20 December 2015. This is the poet’s third arrest in the last six years. In 2009 he was detained for five days after participating in a demonstration calling into question the presidential election results of victor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 2012 he was arrested again for “insulting the sacred” and distributing illegal CDs of poetry and was released from prison in December 2013 after completing his sentence.
This latest arrest shows a growing trend of recent increased pressure on artists in the country where two poets, a filmmaker, and three founders of a music website were given lengthy prison sentences, and two writers and a poet were detained.
» International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran – 24 December 2015:
Popular Iranian poet arrested for third time amidst hardline crackdown against artistic community
» Artsfreedom.org – 4 January 2016:
Iran: Detained writers released on bail
» Artsfreedom.org – 15 December 2015:
Iran: Music distributors await appeal decision for six years in prison
» Artsfreedom.org – 11 December 2015:
Iran: Songwriter and poet released
» Artsfreedom.org – 4 November 2015:
Iran: Filmmaker sentenced to six-year prison term and 223 lashed
» Artsfreedom.org – 15 October 2015:
Iran: Two poets sentenced to flogging and lengthy imprisonment