Peymon Aref

Iranian political activist Peymon Aref has been arrested for the third time by Iranian security forces.

HRANA reports that Aref, a journalist and former student activist, was arrested on Wednesday at his home.

Aref had been released only recently from Evin Prison, in November, on the condition that he report back to the courts in three days. He reportedly failed to do so.

Aref was arrested at the grave of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman who was shot to death during the street demonstrations that followed the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

In March of 2010, Aref was sentenced to a year in jail for propaganda against the regime because he spoke to foreign media. He was also sentenced to 74 lashes for writing an “insulting” letter to Ahmadinejad and, furthermore, was handed a lifetime ban from journalism and political activity.

Aref served out his sentence and was released last October, but only after receiving the 74 lashes.

While Ahmadinejad has sent an implicit message of criticism against carrying out such a sentence for the charge of “insulting the president”, the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Larijani, said that all those who insult government officials are prosecuted in the name and interest of the public, and there is no need for charges to be filed by a specific official.