Iranian agents hunt down dissidents abroad?

A March 3 account in Newsday indicates that Iran’s secret police are hunting down dissidents who have taken refuge in neighboring countries. Newsday highlights the case of Abdulrahim Raeesi, political science professor who was arrested in Tehran by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security after he wrote an article calling for greater democracy in a banned newspaper. Tortured in custody, he was then hospitalized. Escaping from the hospital, he fled to Pakistan with his family. In the city of Quetta, where waited on a UN asylum claim, death threats began to arrive by phone and e-mail. He sent his family to another city to shelter with friends, as he pursued the asylum case with UN authorities in Quetta. On Feb. 7, armed men kicked in the door of the small quarters he shared with two other Iranian asylum-seekers, and sprayed the room with fire. One roomate was killed, while Raeesi and the third escaped over a rooftop. He is now said to be under the protection of a prominent Baluchi leader. "We’re safer now, and finally they are taking our case more seriously," he said.