Kurdish News Editor Released on Bail after 60 Days in Prison
Hassan Sheikh Aghaei, the editor of a Kurdish-Persian news site, was released on two billion rials (about $67,000) bail on December 6, 2015, after 60 days in detention in Mahabad Prison, 30 days of which he spent in solitary confinement.
Sheik Aghaei’s arrest and detention takes place within a crackdown by hardliners against independent journalists in Iran.
A source close to Sheikh Aghaei told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that his arrest was in connection with a number of articles and cartoons published on his site, Ruwange, which covers news in western Iran. The site has not been updated since his arrest.
“Based on the interrogations he has been through we can only guess what his charges could be. No indictment has been issued yet so we can’t be sure,” the source added.
Sheikh Aghaei was briefly arrested in 2009 in connection with his activities in support of reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in the disputed election that year in Iran.
Last month the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Organization netted other journalists. On November 1, 2015, Issa Saharkhiz, Ehsan Mazandarani, and Saman Safazaie were arrested and have been held incommunicado ever since. In addition, the cartoonist Hadi Heydari was taken into custody on November 16, 2015.