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September 23, 2022updated 07 Oct 2022 7:16am

More than a dozen journalists arrested in Iran after covering protests and death of woman accused of not wearing hijab properly

By T4 Hub

Updated 26/9/22: At least 18 journalists have now been arrested in Iran following protests, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, with several taken into custody following midnight raids of their homes.

There have also been internet blackouts and disruption to phone and social media networks.

“Iranian authorities must immediately release all journalists arrested because of their coverage of Mahsa Amini’s death and the protests that have followed,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour. “Iranian security forces must drop their repressive measures against the journalists telling this critical story and restore the internet access that is vital to keep the public informed.”

The Middle East desk of Reporters Without Borders said: “By targeting journalists amid a great deal of violence after restricting access to Whatsapp and Instagram, the Iranian authorities are sending a clear message that there must be no coverage of the protests. We demand the immediate release of these journalists and the immediate lifting of all restrictions on Iranians’ right to be informed.”

And International Federation of Journalists general secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “We urge Iranian authorities not to use the coverage of national protests as an excuse to muzzle the press. Every citizen in Iran has the right to know what is going on. Our colleagues must be released immediately and allowed to report freely. We also call on the authorities to immediately restore the free flow of information on the Iranian territory.”

Original story 23/9/22: Iranian police have arrested at least two women journalists involved in publishing the story of Mehsa Amini who died after being arrested and allegedly beaten for wearing a hijab incorrectly.

Nilufar Hamidi (pictured, left), a journalist for Sharq newspaper and website, is one of those who have been arrested.

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She had published the picture of Amini’s family behind the door of her room in Kasri Hospital in Tehran.

Picture shows Mehsa Amini’s family behind the door of the room where she was hospitalized, undated. The picture was shared by the Iranian journalist Niloofar Hamedi. Picture: @NiloofarHamedi/Newsflash

She has previously been in hot water after publishing a video of a police officer shooting a couple in Pardisan Park in Tehran on 28 May.

It is unclear what charges she faces but she was apparently arrested on Thursday morning at her home in Tehran.

Lawyers acting for her confirmed that property was confiscated and her house was searched.

The journalist was one of the first on the scene after news of Amini’s transfer to Kasri Hospital.

Also arrested was photographer Yalda Meiri (pictured, right), according to a statement by the Committee for the Protection of Journalists. Her family confirmed the news of her arrest and transfer to prison.

Darbayanieh Journalists Protection Committee criticised the arrest of the photographer and demanded she be released.

She was apparently seized on Monday while covering the protests against the death of Amini in the centre of Tehran and on Hijab Street.

Sharif Mansour, member of the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, said: “The Iranian authorities must understand that they cannot hide the nationwide protests against the government by imprisoning journalists.”

He added: “The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Yalda Meiri and stop arbitrarily imprisoning members of the press at this critical moment for Iran.”

Pictures: @Kamfirouzi/Newsflash and Newsflash

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