Iran arrests prosecutor behind ban on popular messaging app

AP — Iran has arrested the prosecutor who had ordered a block on access to the popular messaging app Telegram.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said on Tuesday that Bijan Ghasemzadeh was detained on corruption charges last Friday. It did not say whether the charges were related to the Telegram case.

Iran has arrested dozens of judges and judicial officials on similar charges over the past months.

Last year Ghasemzadeh ordered internet service providers in Iran to block access to Telegram, a popular messaging app used by an estimated 40 million Iranians and used by organizers of anti-government protests in late 2017 and early 2018. Some 25 people were killed and 5,000 arrested during the demonstrations.

Since the ban, Iranian youth and tech-savvy citizens use proxy servers to access the service.