Tehran, Iran - Three officials in the province of Khosestan in southern Iran have been arrested on charges of encouraging corruption by sponsoring a theater festival.
The Iranian News Agency said Wednesday that Ali Reza Ajnak, director of the Department of Culture and Islamic Guidance in the province, and two of his colleagues were arrested at the behest of the president of a committee that overlooks the strict application of Islamic rules.
Ajnak said he was summoned by the revolutionary court which charged him and his colleagues in the department, Ali Bari and Mehdi Shafii, of "encouraging people to commit corruption" by sponsoring the sixth festival of the Iranian Theater.
The news agency said artists and actors gathered outside the police station where the three suspects were held and outside the Department of Culture and Islamic Guidance in the city of Ahwaz to protest their arrest and call for their immediate release.
The festival reportedly drew criticism due to certain clauses in parts of the program that included foreign acting groups.