Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN): On Sunday, February 17, Afshin Sheikholeslami Vatani was arrested by security forces at his family home in Sanandaj.
His sister, Negin Sheikholeslami Vatani, has told Kurdistan Human Rights Network that “Five Iranian security agents entered our family house with a court order to arrest my brother. After searching our house, they arrested him but we are still uncertain to [which branch of Intelligence] agency they belonged. In the past two days, the Iranian authorities have not revealed his whereabouts despite our family’s enquiries.”
“Afshin recently returned from U.S. to Iran to look after our parents, both of whom are sick and in need of care. He has been arrested before by the Iranian authorities but he has not been engaged in any political activities for many years. He is mostly occupied with caring for our parents during his stays in Iran, his career as a civil engineer, charity work and his own perorogative environmental projects”, she continued while referring to her brother’s civil and political activities and past detentions.
In the past, Afshin Sheikholeslami Vatani has been arrested, interrogated many times by the Iranian regime due to his civil and political activism.
He was arrested alongside a number of other political and civil activists at Habibullah Latifi’s house in Sanandaj eight years ago following an attempt to stop the execution of Habibullah Latifi. The execution sentence of Habibullah Latifi was reduced to life imprisonment as a result of such attempt.
Human Rights activists and organizations such as Amnesty International and other activists opposed to the death penalty condemned the arrest of Afshin Sheikholeslami Vatani at the time.