Iranian officials say the “Iranian international operative” arrested on Thursday is Elham Afkari, sister of famous Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari, who was executed two years ago, according to state news agency IRNA. said to have identified.
London-based news channel Iran International has become one of the go-to sources for many Iranians looking for news about the ongoing protests in the country.
The opposition TV station, dubbed a “terrorist” organization by Iran’s intelligence minister on Tuesday, denied any ties to Elham.
In a statement sent to CNN, the London-based broadcaster said Elham “is not an employee of Iran International, nor is it an affiliate or agent of the company.”
Her brother Navid Afkari was convicted of killing water company security guard Hassan Torkman during a protest in Shiraz in 2018.
Initially, Afkari confessed to the crime, but recanted in court, claiming that he had been tortured and made a false confession.
“It should be noted that she [Elham Afkari] She is the sister of Navid Afkari, an employee of the local water company in Fars province who killed the martyr Turkman,” IRNA reported.
“Intelligence agents have been monitoring Elham Afkari’s activities for the past few years,” IRNA said, adding that “she was one of the key leaders in organizing the recent riots.”
State media shared photos allegedly showing Elham’s arrest. The photo shows a woman wearing a black blindfold and sitting in the back seat of a car with barred windows.
Elham and Navid’s brother, Saeed Afkari, confirmed his sister’s arrest on Twitter on Thursday and said Elham’s 3-year-old daughter was also missing.
He later said that Elham had been taken to Iran’s intelligence ministry unit, while his sister’s spouse and daughter had been released.
“Elham has been taken to the 100th Ministry of Intelligence,” he tweeted.
Since Navid Afkari was executed, his family has faced numerous lawsuits over their involvement in the 2018 demonstrations.
According to the rights group Iran Human Rights, one of his brothers, Vahid Afkari, remains in solitary confinement.
Iran International, founded in 2017, covers recent demonstrations after the death in custody of Murthy Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman detained by moral police for not wearing her hijab properly Standing at the forefront.
However, a 24-hour news channel reported on the demonstrations, which brought them under surveillance by the Iranian government.
Iran International said this week that two Anglo-Iranian journalists working in the UK had been warned by police of a “credible” plot by Iran to kill them.
In a statement on Monday, the Persian-language broadcaster accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of being part of a “grave and dangerous escalation” of the campaign in Tehran, while accusing it of a deadly threat. “I am shocked and deeply concerned,” he said. To intimidate Iranian journalists working abroad. ”
In a statement, Iran International said: “Two of the British and Iranian journalists were recently notified of increased threats to them.
“The Metropolitan Police Department has now formally notified both journalists that these threats pose an imminent, credible and grave danger to their lives and that of their families.”
Iran International did not disclose the journalist’s name for security reasons.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said that as of Monday, at least 61 journalists had been arrested in Iran for covering protests, reporting on the deaths of protesters, and photographing demonstrations, the organization reported. Stated.