Student blogger missing, may have been arrested
Reporters Without Borders today said it was “very worried” about Abed Tavancheh, a blogger and student at Tehran’s Amirkabir polytechnic university, who has been missing since 26 May and may well have been arrested after posting photos and reports about the demonstrations taking place at his university for the past few weeks.
“Tavancheh is a courageous blogger who may well have fallen prey to the government’s crackdown on the student pro-democracy movement,” the press freedom organisation said. “His work nonetheless shows that Iranian civil society is dynamic and is resisting government censorship and authoritarianism.”
Tavancheh has been out of contact with his family and friends since 26 May and cannot be reached on his mobile phone. He had participated in the rioting between pro-democracy youths and the government-controlled Basij student militias that recently broke out on his campus.
Many photos of these incidents have been posted on his blog, called “In the name of man, justice and truth”. His last message, posted the day he went missing, includes the text of a letter by Nasser Zarafshan, a famous lawyer – now in prison – who acted for the families of intellectuals and journalists who were murdered during a crackdown in 1998.
Two other bloggers Arash Sigarshi and Mojtaba Saminejad, are currently in prison in Iran.
6 June 2006
Arrest confirmed of blogger Abed Tavancheh, missing since 26 May
Blogger Abed Tavancheh, from whom nothing had been heard since 26 May, finally got in touch with his family on 6 June to tell them he is being held at Evin prison in Teheran. He said that he was well but gave them no further information. The blogger is accused of being “a Marxist questioning the existence of God”, which under Iranian law is an apostasy that could bring him a death sentence. The newspaper Sobeh Sadegh, the official organ of the Revolutionary Guards, accused Tavancheh of being among those behind rioting which has shaken Amirkabir University in Teheran for several weeks.