Iran General NewsChief of police for Tehran was arrested, Iran confirms

Chief of police for Tehran was arrested, Iran confirms


ImageNew York Times: Tehran’s police chief, who was responsible for a crackdown on immodestly dressed women for the past year, has been arrested, a spokesman for the judiciary confirmed Tuesday.

The New York Times

Published: April 16, 2008

ImageTEHRAN — Tehran’s police chief, who was responsible for a crackdown on immodestly dressed women for the past year, has been arrested, a spokesman for the judiciary confirmed Tuesday.

At a news conference, the spokesman, Alireza Jamshidi, would not give the reason for the arrest, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported.

Web sites and local newspapers reported last month that the chief, Gen. Reza Zarei, had been arrested after being caught in a police raid at an underground brothel with six naked prostitutes.

The announcement on Tuesday was the first official confirmation of the arrest.

The chief led a crackdown that started a year ago to increase enforcement of Islamic regulations. Thousands of young women were detained for violating the Islamic dress code, usually for wearing head scarves that showed too much hair, coats that were tight enough to reveal the figure or pants that were too short. Prostitution is illegal in Iran and can be punished severely.

It is not clear whether his arrest would affect the crackdown, the most severe since the early days of the 1979 revolution.

Mr. Jamshidi also said three students who advocated democracy and had been detained for a year received jail terms of up to 30 months, Fars reported.

The students, Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Ghassaban and Ehsan Mansouri, were jailed after they published articles deemed to insult religious sanctities and officials. The students said the publications had been forged to entrap them.

An appeals court had dropped the charges and ordered their release. But they remained in jail, and Mr. Jamshidi said Tuesday that a different court had issued the sentences on charges of “propagating against the regime and insulting sanctities,” Fars reported.

Mr. Tavakoli was sentenced to 30 months, Mr. Ghassaban to 26 months and Mr. Mansouri to 22 months, Mr. Jamshidi said.

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