A “citizen” in Kermanshah, western Iran, was arrested for “insulting” Soleimani, the dead chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp’s Quds Force, on the internet.
According to the IRGC affiliated Tasnim News Agency, Shahram Karami, the head of Public Relations at Kermanshah’s Prosecutor’s Office said the issue was categorized as “urgent” and was seen to immediately.
The report said there were no personal complaints and that the Prosecutor would be acting as the plaintiff.
The unidentified “citizen” is an employee at one of Kermanshah’s Universities.
Karami said “the state’s martyrs were a red line for the judiciary” and that the society “was in debt to people like Soleimani.”
“We will not allow anyone to insult our martyrs,” he added.
In July, a court in western Iran sentenced three young Iranians to hefty prison terms for burning a banner of Qasem Soleimani.
The Saqqez Revolutionary Court charged them with “spreading propaganda against the state by torching banners depicting Qasem Soleimani” and “membership in a Kurdish party”.
Soleimani, killed in a US airstrike on January 3, had been the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force since 1997. He was the main architect behind Iran’s warmongering tactics in the region and by many accounts, the regime’s second most powerful man.
After Soleimani’s death, large banners depicting him as a hero were put up all over the country. Many were torched by Iranians.
In early January, the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of the central city of Shahreza said that insulting Soleimani was tantamount to blasphemy. Hossein Razaz Zadeh said four people were arrested in the city located in the province of Isfahan for “insulting Qasem Soleimani” on social media platforms.
According to a new report by Freedom House, the application of national sovereignty to cyberspace is a tactic used by autocratic governments. It has given them “free rein to crack down on human rights while ignoring objections from local civil society and the international community.”