The Iranian reformist parliamentarian, Bahram Parsaei, says a number of MPs intend to question four ministers [of the country] about the arrest of some social media activists and administrators of Telegram channels in Iran.
From March 14 to 16, twelve administrators of reformist-aligned and pro-government channels in Telegram messaging app were arrested in Iran. In addition to being detained, the contents of the administrators’ channels were deleted and their channels’ names were also changed.
According to a Farsi report by ISNA, Parsaei said, “Following the detention of 12 administrators of Telegram channels and a number of social media activists [in Iran], we sent a letter to President Hassan Rouhani and told him that in case the situation of these detainees and the reason for their arrest is not clarified [as soon as possible], we will question a number of the related ministers in this regard.”
He said no explanation has been given so far about the reason for these individuals’ arrest, adding, moreover, nothing is yet revealed about the way they have been arrested and what their crime has been.
“Also, the time and date of their detention have given rise to a number of uncertainties, as they were arrested a few days prior to Nowruz, a celebration marking the beginning of the new Iranian year (this year started March 20), holidays.”
Therefore, he said, a number of Iranian lawmakers plan to question Iran’s Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, and Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Reza Salehi Amiri about the arrests.
Government is against Such Arrests
Commenting on the arrests, the Iranian Intelligence Minister Alavi said the government is against the detention of the administrators of Telegram channels.
Addressing the reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, he added the government maintains that the issue is required to be resolved in a peaceful manner and that the administrators of Telegram channels should be set free.