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Iranian man's father detained for Web site

July 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM   |   Comments

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands, July 3 (UPI) -- An Iranian student living in the Netherlands says because of his Facebook posts, the Iranian government has detained his father.

Yashar Khameneh, a business administration major at the Dutch university in Eindhoven, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide he fears the Revolutionary Guard will execute his father.

Khameneh was an anonymous poster on the satirical Facebook page called "Campaign to remind Shiites of Imam Naghi" where contributors posted commentary on religious, social and political topics.

"We wanted to break the taboo on religion," Khameneh said. "Many people in Iran have strict religious views and do not tolerate laughing about faith. But we don't insult anyone. We just want people to be more open-minded."

However, Iranian authorities showed up at Khameneh's parents' home in May and detained his father.

"My father has nothing to do with it," Khameneh said. "He merely paid for my studies in the Netherlands."

Khameneh received a call from his father pleading him to give authorities the password for the site, but he refused "because they would have arrested my father anyway." He said the administrator for the site, who lives in Tehran, has refused to take it down.

Because Khameneh is not a Dutch national, the embassy cannot step in.

"The Iranian government insists that I come explain what I have done," he said. "But I won't do that, of course, because I know exactly what would happen. It wouldn't save my father, and I certainly wouldn't survive either."

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