The arrest of journalists by Iranian forces yet another violation of press freedom and access to information

The Iranian authorities' recent efforts to suppress journalists are extremely concerning. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Iranian authorities to stop the crackdown on journalists and to release those detained.

"By stepping up the crackdown on journalists amid a burst of violence after blocking access to WhatsApp and Instagram, the Iranian government has taken another harsh step to violate press freedom." RSF’s Middle East desk said "RSF demands the immediate release of the detained journalists and the immediate lifting of all restrictions on the right to information in Iran, a right that is more essential than ever at this time of crisis."

Following the protests that began on 16 September, the day Mehsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, died in custody after being arrested by the morality police for being "improperly dressed",​​ Iranian authorities have increased attacks and violence against journalists. 

According to RSF’s sources, at least 8 journalists have been arrested, such as Masoud Kourdpour, the editor of the news website Mokeryan in the northeastern city of Bukan and Nilufar Hamedi, the Shargh newspaper reporter, and many have been summoned for questioning and threatened. 

According to figures RSF has, 14 journalists were already in detention before 16 September 2022, including Narges Mohammadi, who was arrested on 16 November 2021, only one year after another 5-year detention, and who had spent only a few months out of prison since 2011. The scale of the demonstration is reminiscent of the 2019 movement. Based on RSF data 23 journalists were arrested by Iranian authorities during November 2019 protests.

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