IFJ calls for the release of journalists detained in Iran

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges Iranian authorities to immediately release the reporters and restore the free flow of information.

Sixteen journalists have been detained amid national protests following the death of Mahsa Amini, and internet showdowns and social media blockages have intensified. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges Iranian authorities to immediately release the reporters and restore the free flow of information.

The nationwide protests flared up across Iran after a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, died in the detention of the Morality Police of Tehran on 16 September. Web monitor NetBlocks noted widespread internet platform restrictions on Skype, WhatsApp and Linkedin and rolling blackouts. This followed older bans on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Telegram.

According to the Association of Iranian Journalists, an IFJ affiliate, 16 journalists have been arrested since the beginning of the protests. Those detained are:

1- Mr Ahamd Halabi Saz, freelance news photographer

2- Mr Iman Beh Pasand, freelance journalist

3- Mrs Vida Rabani, freelance journalist at Shargh newspaper 

4- Mrs Fatemeh Rajabi, Haft Sobh newspaper and Boursan website journalist 

5- Mrs Elahe Mohammadi, journalist at Hammihan newspaper 

6- Mr Mojtaba Rahimi, freelance journalist

7- Mr Alireza Khoshbakht, freelance journalist

8- Mr Rouholah Nakhaei, freelance journalist

9- Mrs Nilofar Hamedi, journalist at Shargh newspaper

10- Mrs Yalda Moayeri, freelance news photographer and award-winning photographer

11- Mr Masoud Kordpur, editor at Mukrian news agency

12- Mr Khosro Kordpur, journalist at Mukrian news agency

13- Mrs Marzieh Talaee , journalist at Mukrian news agency

14- Mr Ali Khatibzadeh, journalist at Mukrian news agency

15- Mrs Batool Balali, journalist at Kerman Farda news website

16- Mrs Samira Alinejad, journalist at Kerman no news website 

On 24 September, the Tehran Province Journalists Association(TPJA) published a second statement in the week condemning the arrests, interrogation and house search of journalists.

Addressing the Iranian government, TPJA said: "From a professional point of view, news coverage of general or limited protests is no different from news coverage of earthquakes, floods, the opening of dams or factories etc. From our point of view, as journalists, all these topics are newsworthy, and our professional duty dictates that we cover them competently and impartially. From a professional point of view, it does not matter whether we talk to the protester or the police officers".

The TPJA warned about the risk of weakening the media institution in Iran because of government actions and asked for the release of all arrested journalists.

The IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger has renewed the IFJ's call for the immediate release of all journalists detained and reminded the authorities of their obligation to uphold the fundamental right of freedom of expression for all Iranian citizens, including journalists.