Digital Deputy Head Detained in Iran

Emad Edward Sharqi, Vice President of International Heading Sarava

The Young Journalists' Club (YJC) website announced on Thursday, January 14 that Iranian security forces have arrested the international deputy head of Sarava Holding, Emad Edward Sharqi, while he was set to leave Iran.

The YJC published a picture of Sharqi being detained at an airport.

According to the report, a court had previously sentenced Sharqi to ten years in prison for "espionage and military intelligence gathering." He was released on bail and "intended to flee Iran" before the appeals court, the YJC reported.

This is the first time that the name of one of the managers of Sarava Holding and charges against him have been published in the local media.

Sharqi had previously been responsible for dealing with foreign partners and investors of Sarava Holding, reports say.

Sarava Holding's former managing director, Saeed Rahmani, previously resigned in September 2019 and left Iran.

The reasons for Rahmani's departure were never announced, and some startup activists attributed it to unspecified "internal pressures."

In its report, the Young Journalists Club has referred to Mr. Rahmani's emigration as an "escape."

"Espionage" is a charge under which Iranian intelligence agents have repeatedly detained dissidents, critics, and even individuals who have refused to cooperate with their activities.

The YJC is an offshoot of Iran's monopolized radio and TV network but run by managers close to the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).