'Missing' Iranian actress in prison

It is unclear why Pegah Ahangarani has been arrested and on what charges.

    Several social networking pages are calling for Ahangarani's release [Source: Facebook] 

    An Iranian actress and blogger was arrested as she prepared to leave for Germany to write a blog for the Deutsche Welle radio station about the women's football World Cup, the semi-official ISNA news agency has reported.

    Pegah Ahangarani, 27, was arrested last week, ISNA said on Monday, citing the prosecutor's office in Tehran.

    It is unclear why the actress has been arrested and what charges she might be facing.

    Ahangarani had been arrested briefly in 2009 after the disputed presidential elections over charges of playing a role in the post-election riots. Ahangarani is the daughter of Iranian filmmakers Manijeh Hekmat and Jamshid Ahangarani. The investigation into her case was continuing, ISNA said.

    Deutsche Welle said Monday it has learned from people close to Ahangarani that the actress is being detained in Tehran's Evin prison. The broadcaster urged Iranian authorities to immediately release her. 

    The actress was to write a blog for Deutsche Welle's Persian-language section but decided against going to Germany after being warned by Iranian authorities not to go a day before her planned departure, Deutsche Welle said. 

    As a result of this and further "threats" Ahangarani decided not to attempt to travel to Germany. She vanished shortly thereafter. On July 14 it was confirmed that she had been arrested four days earlier, Deutsche Welle said.

    "Obviously with the arrest of Pegah Ahangarani, Tehran wants not only to prevent reporting of women's football, but first and foremost, cooperation with Germany's international service," Deutsche Welle said.

    Ahangarani has written a blog about the Berlin Film Festival, the Berlinale, in the past and last year came to Bonn for a blogs awards ceremony, Deutsche Welle said. She also makes documentaries.

    Another Iranian reporter accredited to cover the tournament, Maryam Majd, was arrested on June 26, according to the German government's top human rights official Markus Loening, who said Berlin was "outraged".

    SOURCE: Agencies


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