Unofficial reports indicate that on Thursday February 20, Iranian security forces arrested scores of people in Ahar during a gathering to celebrate International Mother Language Day.

Iranian lawyer Saleh Kamrani informed Zamaneh that more than 100 people were arrested in Ahar and their families have not been able to obtain any information about their situation.

Kamrani reports that such gatherings had been held in Ahar in previous years but this is the first year that they have become a target of government security forces.

Activists in Azerbaijan say that some of the detainees are now refusing food in protest against their arrest; however, no news of the incident has been released by official sources.

These arrests have taken place despite promises by the Rohani administration to promote the teaching of mother languages across the country.