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Blogger Mehdi Khazali Arrested, Again

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

Outspoken Iranian blogger Mehdi Khazali, the son of a hard-line ayatollah, has been arrested again after being summoned by intelligence officials, the opposition "Sahamnews" website reports.

Mehdi Khazali
Mehdi Khazali

This is the third time in the past two years that Khazali, who is best known for his blog and his criticism of the Iranian establishment and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, has been arrested in Tehran.

Khazali wrote on his Facebook page over the weekend and described with his usual sense of humor how he had been summoned to the Intelligence Ministry on July 18.

Haj agha [i.e. men who participate in the Haj are called Haj agha or "Mr. Haj" in Iran] - the interrogator who didn't want to say his name -- contacted me from the Intelligence Ministry. He said: "My name is Haj agha, call me Haj agha." I asked: "Is it for a talk or solitary confinement?" He said: "It's only for a talk and also to return some of your [belongings]."

Reports say Khazali was arrested on the afternoon of July 18 after going to the Intelligence Ministry and transferred to an unknown location.

Here is a link to one of his recent posts about a silent protest by the opposition that was held in the Iranian capital on the second anniversary of the 2009 disputed presidential election.

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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