Source: Radio Zamaneh
Opposition websites report that a group of top reformist figures has been arrested by Iranian authorities. The Kaleme website reports that former lawmaker Hossein Loghmanian and four other reformist activists were arrested en route from Hamedan to meet former president Mohammad Khatami in Tehran.
The four others, according to Kaleme, include three men and one woman who are currently at the Ministry of Intelligence office in Hamedan, and the reason for the arrests has not been announced.
Loghmanian is a former member of parliament that ran Mehdi Karroubi's camapgin headquarters in Hamadan.
The embattled Iranian reformists are testing the waters to see if they can safely participate in the coming June presidential election. Many top reformist figures are currently serving prison terms for their activities in the last election. The two reformist candidates, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, have been under house arrest since February 2011 for challenging the legitimacy of the election vote count.
A group of reformists met with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei earlier this month in order to find some grounds for renewed reformist activity in the political arena. Some conservative elements in the establishment remain hostile to the idea of reformists returning to the fray while others have been more welcoming.
Many have suggested that former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami should run in the coming elections but no official announcements have so far been made about a reformist candidate in the elections.
Another detained journalist released
Detained journalist MohammadJavad Rouh was released on Saturday March 16, the Kaleme website reports.
Rouh, who has a long history of working with reformist newspapers, was arrested on February 1 in the wave of journalist arrests in Iran that began in late January. He is a member of the Society for the Defence of Prisoner Rights and the Islamic Iran Participation Front, a reformist party.
The Ministry of Intelligence claimed the journalist arrests were prompted by the discovery of a broad network of anti-regime media activists that stretches outside Iran.
The detained journalists have been released on bail gradually, but the Intelligence Minister has announced that while journalists are being released as their interrogations are completed, more of them may be arrested as the investigation continues.
The move appears to be an intimidation tactic against journalists in the months leading up to the June presidential election.
Since the controversial presidential election of 2009, journalists have become a repeated target of government crackdowns, which has forced many of them flee the country.
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