Iranian police officers arrested a child in Tehran simply for ripping up a poster of slain military commander Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Wednesday.
“This individual was under 18 years of age, and was identified by the police within 24 hours,” said Tehran’s police chief Hossein Rahimi.
Rahimi claimed the child admitted to being influenced by “online propaganda” during interrogation, “regretted” the action and was then released on bail.
Anti-government protests, largely led by students, broke out in several Iranian cities after Tehran admitted it shot down a Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 passengers, despite vehemently denying responsibility several days before the announcement.
The protesters chanted slogans against the country’s highest authority Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as well as the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Protesters were also filmed chanting slogans against Soleimani and ripping posters of his face off walls.
Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the overseas arm of the IRGC, was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport earlier this month.