State media reported the arrest of 320 people and has identified and dealt with over 1,300 websites for revealing truth about the coronavirus.
On Saturday, May 9, the state-run website Quds Online reported the arrest of 320 for “spreading rumors” and quoted Hossein Ashtari:
“One of the issues that worried and disturbed the public in the first days (of the coronavirus epidemic) was the internet. The Cyber Police dealt decisively with those who spread rumors on the internet. Identified more than 1,300 websites and arrested 320 people.”
Hossein Ashtari also said: “After the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasized that “armed forces and related agencies should come into play”, the police entered the field full force.”
Earlier, on April 29, 2020, Shekarchi, spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces, announced: “3,600 people who spread rumors in the internet have been arrested by military forces and the Basij. Our enemies are always hostile and have agents to further their wishes in our country.” (Quds Online website, May 9, 2020).
The arrests come as the government is working hard on secrecy about the real statistics. Hassan Rouhani is trying to make the situation look normal and controlled, but the real number of fatalities is much higher than what is announced by the Iranian government:
In an interview with France 24 TV, an Iranian doctor, who did not want to be named, said about the government’s secrecy of the real coronavirus death toll on Wednesday, May 6: “The Iranian authorities had one of the worst reactions to the coronavirus. Of what I have experienced, the real figure is four to five times higher than what is announced.”
Reporters Without Borders also accused the Iranian government for the coronavirus outbreak by suppressing independent information in Iran.
“No to Prison – No to Execution” previously published a report by locals on Iran’s secrecy in various cities.