Yashar Khameneh, Iranian student: My Facebook activity arrested my Dad -- report


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Yashar Khameneh, a young Iranian studying in the Netherlands, told The Guardian today that his Facebook activity lead to his father's arrest in Iran. 

Khameneh's story, which has not been independently confirmed, suggests that Iranian officials are increasing their scrutiny of Iranians' online activity abroad even as officials move to further tighten control on Internet use inside the Islamic Republic. 

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Online activity is seen as a key to the Iranian opposition both at home and abroad. Social media platforms played a pivotal role in coverage of the country's 2009 protests, the largest anti-government demonstrations seen since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

Khameneh told The Guardian that his father, Abbas Khameneh, was detained by the authorities in May.

The 25-year-old said he made a few postings using his real name on a satirically-leaning Facebook page about Ali al-Hadi al-Naqi, the tenth of 12 holy Shia imams, according to The Guardian

These appear to have been noticed by the country's Islamic authorities, who were not amused.

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Khameneh said he later starting using a fake Facebook name, but told The Guardian, "I've now realized the government tracked it down from the start."

"My father has been abducted by the Iranian regime, my father had nothing to do with my online activities," he said. "My parents were actually against what I was doing at the time but my father has now been accused of providing financial assistance to that Facebook page through paying for my studies here."

The Guardian also said Iranian mullahs recently issued a fatwa against the politically-active Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi over lyrics involving Ali al-Hadi al-Naqi in a hugely popular song the Germany-based singer recently uploaded to YouTube

Prominent Iranian Ayatollah Naser Makareme Shirazi was quoted as saying that all such "outrage against the infallible imams ... and obvious insult against them would make a Muslim an apostate," reported The Guardian

The German parliament's human rights commission recently expressed its support of Najafi.