NewsSpecial WireIran: Those arrested in fire festivities will spend New...

Iran: Those arrested in fire festivities will spend New Year in jail

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Feb. 20 – The government has announced that any individual arrested during Iran’s upcoming fire festivities will languish in jail for the entire Persian New Year period which lasts until April 3. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Feb. 20 – The government has announced that any individual arrested during Iran’s upcoming fire festivities will languish in jail for the entire Persian New Year period which lasts until April 3.

Brigadier General Hossein Sajedi, deputy chief of police in Tehran, announced the decision on Monday. His remarks were carried by the government-owned news agency Fars.

“Those who are arrested by the police on the last Wednesday of the year for creating social disorder will be incarcerated until the end of the New Year holiday period”, General Sajedi said. The Persian New Year which coincides with the arrival of spring is celebrated on March 21.

Despite a massive crackdown to prevent last year’s “fire festival” from turning into scenes of anti-governments protests, many Iranians took to the streets to defy the government ban and celebrate the last Tuesday of the Persian year with a big bang.

During the traditional Persian fire festival, known as ‘chaharshanbeh souri’ – literally, Feast of Wednesday – people jump over bonfires to “drive away evil”. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, however, Iran’s theocratic leaders have made strenuous efforts to stamp out the festivities which date back to over 2,500 years ago, but to no avail. In recent years, there have been extensive clashes between festive crowds and the security forces deployed to prevent street celebrations.

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