LONDON: Iranian authorities arrested prominent blogger Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki on Wednesday at his home after he posted several tweets critical of a controversial bill passed and ratified by the regime.
Ronaghi Maleki tweeted in Farsi and English earlier this week condemning the User Protection Bill, which allegedly restricts Iranians’ access to the internet.
“With the arrest of Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, the Iranian government is seemingly continuing its absurd practice of arbitrarily detaining journalists without charge,” said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“Authorities must release Ronaghi Maleki immediately or at least reveal his location and any charges against him and allow all Iranians to freely access the internet.”
His brother Hassan also condemned the arrest, saying the blogger suffered from serious health risks if not properly looked after.
“Hossein’s life is at risk because he suffers from several health conditions, including kidney, lungs, blood, and digestive issues, and we don’t know if the kidnappers will give him his medicine,” he said.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Iran ranks 174 out of 180 countries on the 2021 Press Freedom Index.
Since the 1979 revolution, at least 860 journalists and citizen journalists have been prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned and, in some cases, executed by the regime.