President Ebrahim Raisi's Helicopter that crashed in northwest Iran on May 19.

Iran Arrests Dissidents for Reaction to President Raisi’s Death

Sunday, 05/26/2024

Iran has arrested several people across the country for "insulting" officials and "disturbing public opinion" as Iranians celebrate the helicopter crash that killed President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions.

The crackdown extends to online speech, with authorities detaining six men and one woman in Gilan for their social media posts about the incident.

Colonel Hamidreza Feizi of the Fuman police in Gilan emphasized the government's sensitivity to online discussions, stating that “any content deemed insulting to those killed in the helicopter crash would lead to police action.”

The Iranian government and affiliated media continue to glorify Raisi and his companions as "martyrs of service," attempting to quash any criticism or ridicule that followed the crash amid a leadership crisis. 

The narrative control coincides with broader measures against free expression, including the arrest of a Tehran resident whose social media activity, once reaching six thousand followers, was forcibly curtailed under threat of legal action.

On Tuesday, Reza Babrnejad, the brother of Mehdi Babrnejad, a victim of the Woman, Life, Freedom protests, was arrested in response to his reaction to the death of Ebrahim Raisi, sharing a dance of his brother on Instagram celebrating the disaster. "The pure blood and the sufferings of all the mothers and fathers who seek justice will have their retribution. It may take time, but there is no escaping," he wrote.

Additionally, three days ago, the Judiciary Information Center of Kerman Province announced that 254 people were given "telephonic warnings and guidance" for posting "insulting" content, and eight individuals were also summoned for judicial proceedings.

After the news of the disappearance of the helicopter carrying the president, the former foreign minister of Iran, and their entourage on May 19, Persian-language social networks were filled with sarcastic messages praying for the news of their deaths to be true.

More News