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SPJ denounces arrests of journalists in Iran
Rebecca Aguilar, SPJ National President, 317-361-4134, email@example.com
Zoë Berg, SPJ Communications Specialist, 317-920-4785, firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists strongly denounces the arrests of journalists in Iran covering mass anti-state protests and Mahsa Amini’s death. At least 28 journalists had been arrested, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The protests are following the death of 22-year-old Amini, who was being held by the morality police for allegedly violating the country’s strictly enforced Islamic dress code at the time of her death. Arrests include a journalist who covered Amini’s funeral and another who went to the hospital where she was in a coma, helping to expose her case to the world.
"We must all call to attention and denounce the repressive and restrictive measures taken by Iranian authorities against the journalists arrested recently for their coverage of Mahsa Amini's death,” said SPJ International Community Co-chair Elle Toussi. "The International Community of the SPJ demands the release of all journalists under arrest and for the restoration of internet access so that these journalists can do their job: bring truth to the public and keep the world informed."
CPJ reports that its “sources said that several of the journalists were taken into custody during post-midnight raids on their homes. The sources said that the security forces – who confiscated the journalists’ electronic devices – did not identify which agency they represented or produce arrest warrants or explanation of charges.”
The arrest of Niloofar Hamedi, reporter for the reformist daily newspaper Shargh, shows the gravity of the situation many of these journalists face. After being arrested, she was put in solitary confinement and is being interrogated in Tehran's Evin prison, which is considered one of the worst prisons in the world. She still has not been told about the charges against her.
Journalists in Iran must be allowed to report freely and do their job to keep people around the world informed of what’s happening in Iran. All journalists who have been arrested must be released without charges, their equipment should be returned and they should not face further persecution.
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