Top Reformist Campaign Staff Member Arrested in Front of Children Without Warrant
Reza Golestani, a senior staff member at the reformists’ election headquarters in Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran, was arrested at his home in the capital city of Mashhad, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.
“On the morning of May 30 (2017), Reza received two phone calls telling him he must appear at Branch 209 of the Revolutionary Court in Mashhad,” an informed source told CHRI. “Reza consulted with his lawyer and replied to the second caller that a written summons is required. He was then threatened with harsh treatment and at two in the afternoon, several unidentified agents entered his home and took him away in front of his children without showing an arrest warrant.”
“Reza was not told on the phone why he was being summoned,” said the source. “Even when he was arrested at his home, no reason was given. We suspect his activities during the election campaign are the reason.”
“Other reformist staff members have also been summoned over the phone and are due to appear in court in the coming days,” added the source.
Continued the source: “Reza was a senior campaign official for reformists in Khorasan and a member of the local Labor Party. Given that he has only engaged in lawful political activities, his arrest is probably just an unreasonable response by the Mashhad Prosecutor’s Office to the result of the presidential election.”
Centrist incumbent President Hassan Rouhani won the election on May 19, 2017 with 57 percent of the vote (23,549,616), crushing his main rival, Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative, who received 38.5 percent (15,786,449).
The Guardian Council, which vets all presidential candidates and must certify election results, approved Rouhani’s victory on May 31.