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Father Of Slain Protester Opposing Deal With China Taken To Jail In Southern Iran

Manouchehr Bakhtyari and Pouya Bakhtyari. Pouya was killed in a protest in Karaj in November 2019.

Manouchehr Bakhtiari, the father of a slain protester, who had gone to Kish Island in the Persian Gulf to campaign against a 25-year pact with China was arrested and transferred to Bandar Abbas prison from Kish, his brother said on Saturday.

In a video message on social media Mehrdad Bakhtiari said the Intelligence Ministry told him Mr. Bakhtiari who was detained in Kish has been transferred to Bandar Abbas, the capital of Hormozgan Province also in the south.

The agreement which Mr. Bakhtiari was campaigning against, allegedly entails the surrender of some Iranian islands, and has been dubbed as Iran's capitulation and a sell-out of national resources. Many Iranians have criticized the proposed Iran-China agreement and currently anti-Chinese sentiments run very high in the country.

The text outlining the highly controversial pact proposed by the Iranian government was leaked in early July. Iranian authorities vehemently deny the proposed pact includes the surrender of any sovereign rights over natural resources or granting any military bases. Some claim that if the agreement is signed, it could bring $400 billions of Chinese investment to sanctioned and cash-strapped Iran.

Radio Farda analyst Reza Haqiqatnezhad said in a tweet on 24 June: "There are no figures in this document. There is nothing about $400 billion. There is nothing about Kish Island or deployment of Chines forces to Iran. There are only 10 proposals made of dreams and floral language about boosting cooperation between Iran and China".

Mr. Bakhtiari who has become an ardent pro-monarchy activist since his son's death was arrested in Kish Island last week. He had said that he was going to the Persian Gulf island to campaign against the 25-year pact being negotiated with China and demand justice for his son.

The 27-year-old Pouya Bakhtiari who has become one of the icons of the 2019 protests in Iran was shot in the head on November 16 in Karaj by security forces. His family and particularly his father Manouchehr have since bravely ignored the red lines of the regime and have vehemently criticized the regime.