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Religious Scholar In Iran Detained After Prosecutor Visit

Ahmad Ghabel

Ahmad Ghabel

Noted Iranian religious scholar Ahmad Ghabel has been detained after appearing at the Revolutionary Prosecutor's Office in Mashad, his wife has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda.

Ghabel was previously arrested on December 20, 2009, on his way to the funeral of top dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri.

The charges pressed against him included "acting against national security through disseminating propaganda against the Islamic republic and insulting the supreme leader."

He was released on bail after serving nearly six months in Vakilabad prison in Mashad, northeastern Iran.

Ghabel told Radio Farda on September 8 that he had been summoned to court to be questioned about his activities since his release.

His wife, Marzieh Pasdar, said that she accompanied her husband to the prosecutor's office on September 14, where he was questioned for about 30 minutes.

"Then he told me that they want to take him to jail," she said.

Pasdar said Ghabel told her the reason given for his detention was a lecture he had delivered in the city of Najafabad, in central Iran.

"Ghabel gave a talk in Najafabad about Ayatollah Montazeri the first week he was released from prison [after his December 2009 arrest]," said Pasdar. She added that her husband also talked of what had happened to him in jail.

Pasdar added that the other stated reason for his detention was information he had published about executions in Vakilabad prison.

A critic of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ghabel was also arrested in 2001 after writing an open letter critical of him. Ghabel then spent 125 days in solitary confinement in Tehran's Evin prison.