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Elderly Iranian Party Member Arrested

Source: RFE/RL

Reza Kermani An elderly member of Iran's Pan-Iranist Party has been taken into custody, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Reza Kermani's wife, Mehri Olyaee, told RFE/RL that four members of the security forces and police arrested him at his home in the city of Karaj, west of Tehran, on August 27.

Karaj's Revolutionary Court sentenced Kermani, 77, in February to one year in prison on charges of "acting against national security" that have since been upheld by the appeals court.

According to the Pan-Iranist Party website, Kermani was also charged with "speaking to foreign media."

Kermani's wife said he had been repeatedly harassed by security forces. On one occasion, he was abducted on the road to Isfahan.

Another time he was arrested at the airport on his way to attend the ceremony to mark the 40th day after the death of Pan-Iranist Party member Ebrahim Mirani, Olyaee said.

She also said that Kermani's camera, laptop, and other personal belongings and many of his books had been confiscated during repeated searches of their home.

Kermani is currently being held at Ghezel Hesar prison in Karaj.

The Pan-Iranist Party, which advocates the unity of all Iranian ethnic groups, was founded by Mohsen Pezeshkpour in 1951.

Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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