Protest in Iran: ex-footballer and activist released on bail

Iran protest: ex-footballer and activist released on bail


Iranian authorities on Saturday released on bail a former Kurdish international footballer and free speech advocate, who had been arrested for supporting protests rocking Iran for more than two months.< /strong> 

They are Voria Ghafouri, 35, 28 times selected for Iran until 2019, according to the Iranian news agency Fars and Hossein Ronaghi, a collaborator several foreign newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, according to his brother.

The first was arrested on Thursday after being charged with “propaganda” against the state, and the second on September 24 after speaking out against the deadly crackdown on protests in Iran.

Iran is rocked by a protest movement sparked on September 16 by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who died after her arrest by vice police in Tehran for breaking a strict dress code for women in Iran.

14,000 arrested

The authorities denounce these protests as “riots” encouraged according to them by the West.

More than 14,000 people have been arrested since September 16, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran. According to NGOs, activists, lawyers, filmmakers, journalists and sportsmen have been arrested in particular, in addition to the thousands of demonstrators.

Voria Ghafouri, one of the most prominent personalities arrested since September, had been arrested after a training session for his Foolad Khuzestan team, according to Fars.

“Voria Ghafouri and Hossein Ronaghi have been released on bail,” Fars reported.

“Hossein (Ronaghi) was released (Saturday) evening on bail to receive treatment,” his brother Hassan wrote on Twitter, without further details.

His father Ahmad posted a photo of his son to hospital, saying he had been released after a hunger strike lasting some two months.

Hossein Ronaghi, 37, with kidney problems, had been on a hunger strike immediately after his arrest and his state of health had deteriorated. He was hospitalized on November 13 before returning to prison.

At least 416 people have been killed in the crackdown on protests in Iran, according to a latest report released by the NGO Iran Human Rights (IHR) , based in Norway.

Among them, 290 died during the protests linked to the death of Mahsa Amini and 126 in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan (south-east) including more than 90 on September 30 in the provincial capital Zahedan, during demonstrations against the rape of a teenager attributed to a policeman.