Reports received by Radio Farda from Tehran indicate that families of four university students arrested recently are deeply worried about their loved ones.
People close to Ehsan Mohammadi, Soheil Aghazadeh, Leila Hosseinzadeh and Ehsan Darvish in interviews with Radio Farda that families are extremely concerned because they have received no news from or about the detainees.
One student activist, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Radio farad that the death of other detainees in custody has heightened concerns about the four students.
Ehsan Mohammadi and Leila Hosseinzadeh were arrested on January 1, and Soheil Aghazadeh and Sina Darvish were taken into custody on January 4.
During the same period 100 other students were also arrested, some of whom have been released on bail. According to Farid Moussavi, a member of parliament, these arrests were part of preventive measures, at the height of antigovernment protests in Iran.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi and Nassrin Sotoodeh, both human rights lawyers have said that there are no laws in Iran, which would permit preventive arrests.
A person close to Ms. Hosseinzadeh told Radio Farda that the anthropology student is not in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison and it is not clear who arrested her.
The person, who did not want to be identified, also told Radio Farda that the family believes Tehran University officials have not seriously pursued Ms. Hosseinzadeh’s case and ask the university to take up the issue with intelligence agencies.
Iranian law says that all detainees are allowed to meet with their family members and friends in person or have correspondence with them. Despite this, families of hundreds of recent detainees have no information about their loved ones.
ILNA quoted a member of parliament that on Tuesday two letters were prepared asking President Hassan Rouhani and the head of Iran’s Judiciary to quickly free all detainees, especially female students.
According to this report, 40 reformist MPs from Parliament’s Omid (Hope) faction have signed the letters.
Other MPs have also spoken out about the detainees and have voiced their concerns, especially as two deaths in custody have been officially confirmed and there are reports of up to three more deaths.
A student activist told Radio Farda that many students had received warnings prior to recent protests not to voice “radical demands”. Student activists had intensified their criticisms of government economic policies and were also demanding from the authorities to respect for their collective rights.
More than 30 student associations around the country issued a statement on January 14, demanding the release of detained students. They accused the authorities of taking advantage of recent protests to arrests dozens in order to silence the voice of students.
At the same time, more than 1,500 students of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences also signed a statement condemning the detentions.