Iranian Professor Confirms He Was Kidnapped By Security Agents

Iranian professor Dariush Farhud, known as the "father of Iranian genetic science," has confirmed he was forcibly kidnapped by unknown security agents and interrogated for more than a day before being released.

The 84-year-old scientist told the semiofficial ISNA news agency that as he was leaving his house on the morning of October 30, two men wearing black clothes and "who looked like agents" greeted him and then "got into my car."

"Then they took me to a place and put me in another car," he said.

The genetics clinic staff headed by Farhud reported he was missing after he openly supported the current wave of anti-government protests that has rocked the country.

Farhud is also a critic of the human population planning policies of the Islamic leadership. Earlier in April, he described parliament's plan to ban fetal screenings and prevent legal abortions as an affront to human rights and a move that sets the country back 200 years.

Iran has seen daily protests since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died on September 16 while in police custody. She had been detained for an alleged dress code violation over how she was wearing a head scarf.

As the demonstrations broadened across the country, officials responded with a harsh crackdown that rights groups say has left more than 270 dead and seen thousands detained.

Farhud said his abductors asked him about his contacts and also asked why he had been critical of the government.

Iran has a record of targeting scientists and intellectuals who don't toe the official line and who touch on topics deemed as sensitive.

Several Iranian professors have been interrogated after voicing support for the anti-government protests.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda