Iran Lawmakers Slam Crackdown On Environmentalists
Umer Jamshaid 6 months ago Tue 17th April 2018 | 11:17 PM
An Iranian lawmaker on Tuesday criticised a recent crackdown on environmental activists and officials, saying it risked "bad consequences for the country", the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
Tehran, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 17th Apr, 2018 ) :An Iranian lawmaker on Tuesday criticised a recent crackdown on environmental activists and officials, saying it risked "bad consequences for the country", the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
Parliament's environmental and transparency committees held a closed-door session in which they discussed the arrest on espionage charges of several NGO workers earlier this year. One detainee later died in custody.
"Some... have accused these individuals of spying, but the expert views of the Intelligence Ministry are almost exactly contrary to them," said Mohammad Reza Tabesh, head of parliament's environment committee, according to ISNA.
He was relaying information provided by the head of the government's Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Isa Kalantari. Iran has multiple and competing intelligence agencies. One is under the moderate government of President Hassan Rouhani and another under the Revolutionary Guards, who have opposed his efforts to rebuild ties with the West.
The lawmakers discussed Kaveh Madani, a young water expert who took leave from his post at London's Imperial College last year to become deputy head of the EPA. It was revealed on Monday that Madani, who had faced weeks of pressure from hardline opponents of the government, had abruptly resigned while travelling outside the country.
Kalantari told the lawmakers that Madani had wished to carry on his work "despite the pressures exerted," according to the account given by Tabesh. "But he resigned because his parents were not happy." Madani released a cryptic message on Twitter on Tuesday.
"Yes, the accused has escaped from a land in which online ignorance has rejected science, knowledge and expertise," he wrote. "They have realised that finding a guilty person, enemy and spy is much easier than accountability and participation in resolving problems." Madani's appointment had been seen as a test of Rouhani's efforts to attract expat Iranians back home.