Iran has arrested a prominent chef and influencer after he posted a recipe for Persian cutlets on the anniversary of the death of Qasem Soleimani, human rights groups and supporters said.
Navab Ebrahimi was arrested in the capital Tehran on Wednesday where he was taken to the city's Evin Prison, the Human Rights Activists News Agency said.
Ebrahimi's Post Seen as Reference to General Soleimani's Death
No official reason was given for his arrest but followers noticed that Ebrahimi had posted a recipe for Persian cutlets on the day marking Soleimani's death - seen as a reference to the regime tyrant being blown up by US drone.
Opposers of the Iranian regime have previously posted images of the minced meat patties to social media on the anniversary of Soleimani's death in reference to how the regime's military commander was blown up and killed in 2020 by a US drone strike.
Qasem Soleimani was the commander of Iran's Quds Force, an elite clandestine wing of Iran's military, and the country's most powerful general. He was killed at Baghdad airport three years ago in an air strike ordered by former US president Donald Trump.
Iran Cracking Down on Critics of the Regime
Navab Ebrahimi is known in Iran for his videos promoting Persian cooking, with some 2.7million followers on Instagram and hundreds of thousands of people watching his YouTube channel. Since his arrest, Ebrahimi's main Instagram account is no longer accessible.
His arrest comes as the Iranian regime continues its crackdown on nationwide protests. Evin Prison in Tehran where he was taken to is known for its housing of the regime's political prisoners.
Nik Yousefi, an Iranian film-maker and photographer who was arrested in October as part of the crackdown before his release, also wrote on Twitter that Ebrahimi had been arrested and his cafe in Tehran had been shut down.
With Iranian authorities organising events to commemorate the death of Soleimani this week, critics of the regime also took to social media to share images of people setting fire to pictures of the former Quds Force commander.
In a commemoration ceremony in capital Tehran on Tuesday, officials and regime clerics gathered to mark the third anniversary of his death. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi delivered a speech addressing those who had gathered.
Iran has arrested at least 14,000 people in the wave of protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, according to the UN. Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman had been arrested for allegedly breaching the strict dress code for women in September last year.
Prominent journalists, film-makers, lawyers and activists have been arrested. Some have been released on bail but others still remain in prison.