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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Iranians arrested for - a water fight

A Tehran water gun fight, with consequences, that took place on July 29th.

From Radio Free Europe:

Yet again, a number of young people have been arrested in the Iranian capital.

Their crime: engaging in a water fight.

The evidence: water guns and bottles.

The accusations against them: violating Islamic principles and norms.

It sounds absurd, but sadly it's the reality in the Islamic Republic of Iran where, among other things, having a bit of fun can also land one in prison.

The young women and men had gathered last week in a Tehran park, ironically named the Garden of Water and Fire, and splashed water at each other.

The event, planned and organized on Facebook, had reportedly attracted around 800 people. Pictures of the event show happy girls and boys soaked with water, carrying colorful water guns.

They weren't chanting opposition slogans or protesting against the government, but they were having a good time in public, which can be seen to challenge state-enforced codes of conduct. Their photos were shared on websites, blogs, and social media.

Many praised them for their creativity, for managing to organize the event, and also for having fun, which is not always easy in Iran.

Not everyone was happy, though. Conservative websites used the "incriminating" photos to accuse the young people of immorality and corruption.

On July 31, Tehran's police chief, Hossein Sajedinia, said a group of young Tehran residents were arrested for splashing water at each other. Sajedinia warned that the police would act against others who disrupted "public order and security." He provided no details on the number of arrests.

One parliament deputy, Mousa Ghazanfarabadi, said the organizers of the event were trying to distance the youth from Islamic principles and the values of the Islamic republic. Another lawmaker, Hossein Ebrahim, called on the judiciary to take action against similar events.
It looks like they had a lot of fun before the police moved in.

30 were arrested; all of them have now been freed.