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Owner of information technology firm arrested for "sending e-mails"

(RSF)/IFEX - Reporters Without Borders condemns the 8 August 2009 arrest of Amir Asslani, a student and CEO of an information technology company, and the raids carried out at his home and his company's headquarters the same day. Asslani was arrested for "sending emails".

"We urge the international community and all human rights activists to react to this arrest and to condemn the Iranian government's persecution of Internet users and cyber-dissidents," Reporters Without Borders said. "We call for Asslani's immediate release and the return of everything that was confiscated by the authorities. His arrest is the latest in a series of measures designed to intimidate and corner the regime's opponents."

After being arrested outside his office on 8 August by men in plain clothes, Asslani was interrogated for five hours and then escorted to his home by four agents, who confiscated his computer, data discs and personal documents. They had no arrest warrant but were acting on the orders of Tehran prosecutor general Said Mortazavi, who heads a "special section" for computer crimes that was created a year ago.

The same day, the agents searched his company's offices, forced employees to connect to their email services and seized a total of 15 computers. They also made threats against Asslani's employees and relatives.

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