Iran arrests mother of imprisoned RSF press freedom laureate
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) strongly condemns the arrest of Farangis Mazloom, the mother of Soheil Arabi, an imprisoned citizen-journalist who was awarded the RSF Press Freedom Prize in 2017. Her arrest seems to fit a pattern of Iranian government harassment of the families of prisoners of conscience, especially journalists.
Plainclothes agents arrested Mazloom at her sister’s home on 22 July and took her to a location that is still unknown. The authorities have not yet said why she is being held.
Arabi, who has been imprisoned since 2013, began a hunger strike 45 days ago in protest against the inhuman and degrading treatment to which he is being subjected. In a video (below) recently posted on social networks, Mazloom drew attention to her son’s plight and said he is often beaten by prison guards.
Since January, RSF has registered several cases of close relatives of imprisoned journalists being summoned and interrogated. The regime’s reprisals against families must stop, RSF said.
The press freedom situation is worsening by the day in Iran, which is ranked 170th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.