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Iran arrests footballers at mixed-gender party

January 1, 2023 04:58 PM


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Iranian authorities have arrested football players who attended a mixed party east of Tehran, local media reported Sunday, without identifying them or giving their exact number.

"Several current and former players of one of Tehran's prominent football clubs were arrested last night (Saturday) at a mixed party in the city of Damavand," Tasnim news agency said.

"Some of these players were in an abnormal state due to alcohol consumption", it added.

Iranian law only permits non-Muslims to consume alcohol for religious purposes. Dancing with the opposite gender is forbidden.

The Islamic republic has been rocked by unrest since the September 16 death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, following her arrest for an alleged breach of the strict dress code for women.

Iranian officials say hundreds of people have been killed in the unrest, including members of the security forces, and thousands have been arrested.

A number of current and former footballers as well as other athletes and prominent figures have been detained or questioned by the authorities after voicing support for the protests.

Iranian dissident journalist released

Iranian dissident journalist Keyvan Samimi, jailed in December 2020 for "plotting against national security", has been released, reformist daily Shargh reported on Sunday.

Samimi, 73, was in December 2020 sentenced to three years in prison and was held in Semnan, nearly 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of Tehran.

Shargh did not specify the date of his release.

Samimi had been granted permission to leave prison on medical grounds in February 2022.

But he returned to prison in May after being suspected of carrying out activities against national security, the Mehr news agency said.

In December, he issued a message from prison supporting the protest movement following the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini.

The 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died after being arrested by the police for an alleged violation of country's dress code for women.

Samimi has served prison terms both before and after the Islamic revolution of 1979.



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