January 13, 2010

An Arrest in Qom

An Arrest in Qom by John Hannah at FP.

On Jan. 12, several agents from the Islamic Republic's intelligence ministry raided the home of Mohammed Taqi Khalaji. They took Khalaji into custody and confiscated his computer, satellite receiver, and hundreds of notes, books and personal letters. The agents also seized the passports of Khalaji and members of his family, banning them all from leaving the country. Khalaji's family does not currently know where he is being detained and Iranian authorities are refusing to provide any information.

Khalaji is a prominent cleric in Qom, the center of Iranian Shiism. Since June 12, he has been a courageious critic of the Iranian regime's crackdown on peaceful protests and a supporter of the so-called Green Movement. Khalaji was known to be close to Iran's most prominent dissident cleric, the late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, and is an ally of Ayatollah Sanei -- another well-known reformist cleric who has come under whithering attack from the regime following the massive Ashura demonstrations of Dec. 28. Clearly, Khalaji's arrrest is of a piece with the Islamic Republic's escalating -- though so far miserably unsuccessful -- efforts to crush all signs of peaceful opposition. Khalaji now joins hundreds, if not thousands, of other brave Iranians dragged from their homes and illegally detained for exercising their most fundamental rights of citizenship.

Read the rest. (via Martin Kramer)

Posted by dan at January 13, 2010 9:32 PM