Iran arrests prominent journalist on propaganda charges

Saharkhiz was arrested for insulting the Supreme Leader of the country, says family

Reuters November 02, 2015

DUBAI: Iranian authorities arrested prominent journalist Isa Saharkhiz on Monday for "insulting the Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and propaganda against the regime", his family said on social media.

A post on Saharkhiz's Facebook page reporting his detention included what it said was a picture of a search warrant for his home. An Iranian journalist who knows Saharkhiz told Reuters the page was under the control of a family member.

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Saharkhiz's son, Mehdi, also announced the arrest on Twitter and said his father had started a hunger strike.

The reports could not be immediately confirmed.

The journalist, who previously served as deputy minister of culture, spent four years in jail from 2009 to 2013 on charges of insulting Iranian leaders and harming national security.

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He was held in solitary confinement on several occasions and also went on hunger strike several times to protest against what he said was a lack of attention to his particular medical needs, which include a heart condition.

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