The Iranian judiciary has announced the arrest of eight people for activities on social media related to the elections.

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei

On a program on state television on Saturday February 6, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, the spokesman for the judiciary, said the suspects were arrested for “offences related to the elections in cyber space”. He did not identify the detainees.

He issued a general warning regarding election offences and said: “If to date no one has been summoned, it may be that their file is being completed and we will soon begin pressing charges.”

The chief justice of Eastern Azerbaijan province reported on January 25 that 25 websites have been blocked for “election offences”.

Mohseni Ejei added that even government officials who make statements that may be considered “disturbing public sensibilities, insulting and inciting illegal activities” may face charges.

On Monday February 1, the head of Iran’s Expediency Council, moderate cleric Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, publicly condemned the disqualification of Hassan Khomeini from running in the Assembly of Experts elections and said it was an insult to the memory of the late leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini.

Rafsanjani was threatened by a Revolutionary Guards spokesman, who said Ayatollah Rafsanjani may have to serve time beside his son.