German Arrested in Iran, Activists Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Terms

Media reports say that a German citizen has been arrested in Iran. According to the Iranian state-run newspaper “Dscham-e-Dscham,” the person was arrested for taking pictures of oil facilities in the city of Omidiyeh. No other details about the person who was arrested or the time of the arrest have been made public. However, the German Foreign Office has said that it is aware of the Iranian reports and that the German Embassy is trying “with high pressure” to clear up the situation. In the southwest of Iran, in the province of Chuzestan, where the country’s most enormous oil reserves are, is the city of Omidiyeh امیدیه.

Besides this arrest, there have been other cases that have made people worried. “Violations of national security” led to long prison terms for documentary filmmakers and journalists. For example, the newspaper “Shargh” says that filmmaker and social activist Mozgan Ilanlu was given ten years in prison, and journalist and political activist Alireza Choschbacht was given five years. A revolutionary court in Tehran also gave Ilanlu the sentence of 74 lashes. It is said that the director took part in protests against the country’s harsh policies.

The French and Irish governments are also worried about the health of Bernard Phelan, a 64-year-old prisoner in Iran with French and Irish citizenship. He is said to be sick and needs immediate medical care, but he is not getting it in prison. The Irish Foreign Office has asked the Iranian government to let him go for humanitarian reasons and is in touch with them.

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