Iranian Writer, Blogger Hossein Shanbehzadeh

Iranian Security Detains Writer Blogger for a Dot

Wednesday, 06/05/2024

Hossein Shanbehzadeh, a translator, literary editor, and social media activist recognized for his candid critiques, has been detained, apparently for adding a dot to a tweet by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Initial speculations about his arrest surfaced when his brother, Abbas Shanbehzadeh, shared concerns on X regarding Hossein's possible detention, which was later confirmed by Hossein himself during a call. 

Shanbehzadeh's X account also became inaccessible, likely deactivated to prevent misuse by security agencies. Nevertheless, his name dominated Persian-language X trends for hours, with users highlighting his wide-ranging influence and fearless commentary.

Shanbehzadeh, who posted a dot in response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's tweet last month, employing a sarcastic editorial tone, saw his comment receive considerably more likes than Khamenei's original tweet.

Conversely, some cited Shanbehzadeh's criticisms, including an exposé on Evin Prison's harsh practices, suggesting his arrest stems from governmental ire towards his outspokenness.

In response to his arrest, numerous users voiced their outrage, linking it to a comment he made under an official post by Ali Khamenei last month, which gained significant traction.

Shanbehzadeh was previously imprisoned in connection with the 2019 protests, facing charges of "insulting the sanctities and the leader of the Islamic Republic."

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