Former Member of Parliament Hossein Loghmanian and four reformist activists from Hamadan Province were arrested while on their way to Tehran to meet former president Mohammad Khatami on March 16, 2013. These arrests may mark the first detentions of political figures in relation to the upcoming June 2013 presidential elections in Iran.
Hamadan Intelligence forces also arrested Loghmanian’s travel companions, identified as Mohammad Reza Afkhami, Hadi Ehtezazi, Amin Faridian, and Ms. Rahimi, and took them to the Hamadan Intelligence Office.
On March 17, Hossein Loghmanian’s four companions were indicted by Branch 7 of Hamadan Courts under Judge Tarkashvand and were released on bail, but Loghmanian refused the charges. In protest of his illegal detention, he prevented his family from posting his bail, and was transferred to Hamadan’s Alvand Prison the same day.
The former MP told the court he had not committed a crime that would necessitate posting a bail. He added that on principle, meeting with Khatami is not a crime, and that since he was stopped on the road, he had not even had the chance to meet with Khatami. Forty days after his illegal arrest, Hossein Loghmanian remains in prison and is not allowed to have visitors. His family is concerned about his health due to a history of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Hossein Loghmanian was head of the Hamadan branch of the Participation Front and a member of the Iranian Parliament from 2001 to 2005. In late 2001, Loghmanian was arrested following a speech he delivered at the Parliament in protest to the arrests of political activists, sentenced to 10 month in prison and transferred to Evin Prison. Mehdi Karroubi, then Speaker of the Parliament, vehemently objected to the arrest, stating that the Judiciary’s actions in the arrest of Loghmanian violated the parliamentary immunity of the members of parliament. After Karroubi threatened to resign, Loghmanian was eventually released. Loghmanian was head of Mehdi Karroubi’s presidential election campaign in Hamadan in 2009.