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December 11, 2013 12:10 pm

Analysis: New Iranian President Brings No Respite for Dissidents

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President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Iranian government.

Slate – The past few days have brought some worrying signs that the more conciliatory foreign policy of Hassan Rouhani’s administration does not mean the Iranian government is becoming more tolerant of dissent at home. Iran’s morality police have arrested the popular singer Amir Tataloo, whose work had not been approved by the culture ministry. In the southern city of Kerman, 16 people were arrested on charges of cooperating with Western and anti-Iranian news networks, along with seven staff from an IT-focused website in the same city who were picked up for unknown reasons.

The arrests follow reports of a dramatic rise in executions, as noted recently by human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. According to a United Nations report in late October, at least 82 people were executed in the weeks immediately following Rouhani’s inauguration. Washington-based NGO Freedom House describes some other recent cases:

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