According to reports, a number of Iranian activists and volunteer rescuers have been arrested over the past few days in the region hit by two strong earthquakes on August 11.
The opposition website Kalemeh says at least 45 people were arrested. The detainees include bloggers Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, recently released after serving part of a 15-year sentence and Navid Zhanjani, arrested in March 2010 and sentenced to 12-year in prison in January 2011, EA Worldview reports.
According to Iranian activist Persianbanoo, the exact number of detainees has yet to be confirmed as well as the location where they are being held.
The Kalemeh report says it all started when Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) agents attempted to confiscate the donations collected by volunteers for earthquake victims.
Early Wednesday, members of the IRGC turned up at a volunteer camp in Sarand village and presented a warrant granting them an authorization to confiscate all the goods collected for the victims.
Other reports say Intelligence Ministry’s agents forced volunteers and rights activists who had come to help to leave immediately.
The Obama administration decided on Tuesday to allow Americans to send hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to Iran to help with earthquake relief in a rare relief of tight financial sanctions imposed on the country in response to its controversial nuclear program.
More than 300 lives were claimed and over 3,000 were injured after two strong tremblers hit northwestern Iran.