Iran General NewsIran arrests dozens in video crackdown: police

Iran arrests dozens in video crackdown: police

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AFP: Iranian police in overnight raids arrested dozens of suppliers of illegal DVD movies and other videos deemed to be “decadent and immoral,” they said on Sunday. TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian police in overnight raids arrested dozens of suppliers of illegal DVD movies and other videos deemed to be “decadent and immoral,” they said on Sunday.

At least 60 people were arrested in Saturday night’s raids in Tehran, police said, part of an ongoing campaign the authorities say is aimed at increasing security in society and promoting virtue.

“The confiscated material includes discs containing decadent and immoral videos as well as (Iranian) movies that are currently being screened,” Tehran police chief Ahmad Reza Radan was quoted as saying.

The lack of an enforceable copyright law in Iran has made it easy for illegal distributors of Iranian movies to sell them on DVDs before they are even shown in the cinemas.

Radan said that 60 people had been detained but state news agency IRNA cited another police commander as saying there were 100 arrests in the nighttime crackdown.

“With the first stage of… (confronting) centres which supply and distribute illegal videos and movies on disc, more than 100 people have been arrested,” said Tehran police chief for public security, Mohammad Reza Alipour.

Alipour also said that more than 300,000 discs containing illegal materials have been confiscated.

“Implementation of this plan, like other social security plans, will continue until the concern of Tehranis is removed and (morally) unclean places are cleared,” he added.

Most Western and many Iranian films are never screened in cinemas or on television in Iran, which strictly vets productions for any sign that they are not in line with Islamic morals.

Regular police crackdowns on smuggled Western movies have not stemmed the trade in illicit copies of DVDs, which are often available in shops or on the street for around two dollars.

There is also an underground market in CDs showing footage of private parties and home videos, particularly of women, which are distributed without the knowledge of those filmed.

Iran has been pursuing its severest crackdown in years against a range of ills including improperly dressed women, thugs, drug traders and illegal satellite dishes.

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