Iranian-Kurdish Activist Lured to Government Office and Arrested by Intelligence Ministry
Update: Farzaneh Jalali was released on March 13, 2017, according to a post on her Facebook page.
Farzaneh Jalali, an Iranian-Kurdish civil rights activist, has been held at an Intelligence Ministry detention center in the city of Kermanshah in northwestern Iran since being arrested on February 23, 2017, she told her family in a phone call.
The ministry’s agents arrested Jalali without a warrant while she was on her way to the Property Registration Office in Kermanshah, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network reported on February 26.
“In a coordinated operation on Thursday, February 23, security agents, with the help of the Kermanshah Property Registration Office, contacted this Kurdish activist on the phone and asked her to come to the office to answer questions about an incomplete file,” said the report.
“Several agents tried to take Farzaneh Jalali into custody without a warrant outside the post office as she was heading to the Property Registration Office,” it added. “The human rights activist resisted and was eventually forced into an unmarked car and taken away.”
“Jalali was transferred to the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center at Meydan Naft Square and then agents carried out a search of her mother’s house and took away her personal belongings including a laptop, books and handwritten material,” continued the report.
“Yesterday (February 25), she briefly contacted her family over the phone and said she was being held in the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center in Kermanshah,” it added.
Due to her peaceful activism as a member of the Tehran University Islamic Students Association, Jalali was banned from continuing her studies at the graduate level in 2010. She had been admitted to the university holding one of the highest entrance examination grades of her class.
Jalali was also the editor-in-chief of the Tehran University’s student newspaper, Sobh (Morning), in the late 2000s.
More recently she was helping elementary students who had suffered severe burns in a fire that destroyed their school in the village of Shinabad, in West Azerbaijan Province, in December 2012.
The accident, caused by a faulty heater, became national news and generated public outcry for increased government spending on school facilities.
*This article was revised on March 13, 2017 to reflect Jalali’s release from prison.