Iran Cyber Police arrests man for posting COVID-19 news on social media

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A Cyber Police official in a northern Iran province said that a man was detained for “publishing lies” on social media platforms about the COVID-19 epidemic.

“The culprit is a 60-year-old man and has confessed to his crime,” Colonel Iraj Pourmostamand, the Head of the Cyber Police in Gilan, told reporters today in a press conference covered by state-run media.

“Confessing” to so-called crimes in Iran is usually accompanied by coercion and even torture.

“The person responsible for publishing lies about the coronavirus on social media platforms was identified by Cyber Police experts in the city of Rasht and was detained in a surprise operation upon the approval of a judiciary official,” he added.

The Cyber Police official said that the content posted by the 60-year-old man had “disturbed public opinion”.

“The man said that his motive was to attract attention,” Pourmostamand said adding that his case was referred to the Judiciary.

He called the internet a two-edged sword that brings about “happiness and cruelty” at the same time.

Hundreds of Iranians have been arrested and referred to Iran’s Judiciary for either criticizing the regime’s management of the COVID-19 epidemic or for posting reports and events that contradict the regime’s talking points.  

Ordinary Iranians and even some mid-level officials accuse the regime of covering up the scope of the outbreak and the number of fatalities.

At least five of these officials, mainly health administrators, have been dismissed by Iran’s Ministry of Health after questioning the regime’s official figures.

An IRGC commander also told state-run TV on April 28 that 3,600 citizens were arrested for “spreading rumors” about the COVID-19 crisis.

General Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesperson for the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran said that “3,600 people who spread rumors on social media were arrested by Iran’s Cyber police and the (Paramilitary) Basij forces.”

“1,136 lawsuits have been filed against them,” he added.

Yesterday, Iran’s Ministry of Health announced the death toll from COVID-19 as 6,203.

But an opposition group that accuses the regime of covering up death toll figures said that 38,700 people had died in 310 cities across Iran.

The National Council of Resistance says its death toll figures have been gathered by reliable sources inside the country.  

Submitted: May 05, 2020

© Copyright 2023 Abzari Asghar. All rights reserved.

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