Iranian authorities have arrested five students of a leading dissident cleric in the southern city of Shiraz, human rights sources say.
According to the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, security forces have arrested five students of Ayatollah Dastgheib, a senior religious figure in Shiraz. Of the five detainees, only one has been identified as Taher Faghih, the group added.
Some reports suggest that the number of detained clerics could be greater.
Ayatollah Dastgheib, a prominent religious scholar and supporter of the opposition Green Movement, is also a member of the Assembly of Experts, the only constitutional body with the authority to appoint and dismiss the leader. Since the rigged 2009 presidential race and its subsequent clampdowns, the Ayatollah has proven to be a thorn in the side of Iran’s ruling elite. His forthrightness and vocal opposition to state-violence has made him his home, students, mosque, and seminary the target of regular attacks by pro-government vigilantes who are usually backed up by the security forces.
In late 2011, the Ayatollah also criticised the Guardian Council for preventing free and fair elections as well as its role in facilitating widespread rigging in the country’s 2009 presidential election.
Source: Iran Green Voice