GVF — Ashkan Zahabian, an Iranian student barred from studying, has been arrested.
According to a report by opposition website Jaras, Zahabian was arrested at his father’s home on Monday night and taken to a detention centre under the supervision of the Intelligence Bureau of the city of Sari in northern Iran. The security forces that entered the home also confiscated a number of Zahabian’s personal belongings including his notes, computer, books and CDs.
Zahabian, a member of an important student organisation The Office for Fostering Unity (Daftare Tahkime Vahdat), was a campaigner for the opposition candidate Mahdi Karroubi during the 2009 presidential election.
“An informed source” told Jaras that last week, that security forces went to the student activist’s home at night, telling his family their son was to refer to the Intelligence Bureau and that agents had been given permission to shoot Zahabian if he continue refuse to present himself to the Bureau. The threats had a severe impact on Zahabian’s mother who was later hospitalised following a loss of blood pressure, according to her doctor. In recent days, experts from the judiciary had also threatened to put the house of Zahabian’s father up for auction.
On 16 June 2009, just days after massive vote riggings in Iran’s presidential election, Zahabian was arrested during protests at Mazandaran University and was beaten so ruthlessly by state-sponsored vigilantes that he remained unconscious for days. The activist, who had already been banned from pursuing his education due to his political activism, spent three months in solitary confinement in Sari’s Intelligence Bureau prison as well as Babol’s Mata Kola detention centre.
Zahabian was arrested on 2 November 2009 for a second time after being summoned by the Persecutor’s Office in Babolsar for “acting against national security by establishing Islamic Association in north of the country.”
He has been sentenced in absentia to six months in prison by Judge Rezyan of Babol’s revolutionary court.