Source from cpj
Adnan Hassanpour, Aso
January 25, 2007
Security agents seized Hassanpour, 32, editor of the now-defunct Kurdish-Persian weekly Aso, in his hometown of Marivan, Kurdistan province, according to news reports. In July 2007, a Revolutionary Court convicted him of anti-state charges and sentenced him to death. After a series of appeals and reversals, he was re-sentenced in May 2010 to 15 years in prison, his defense lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, told the independent press outlet Human Rights Activists News Agency.
The government’s case against Hassanpour amounted to a series of assertions by security agents, his defense lawyer, Sirvan Hosmandi, told CPJ in 2008. Hassanpour’s sister, Lily, told CPJ that she believed his critical writing was behind the charges.
He has not been allowed furlough during his time in prison despite repeated requests by his lawyer and family, news reports said. His sister told the Committee of Human Rights Reporters in 2013 that the journalist’s health had deteriorated in prison from lack of proper medical care.
Hassanpour was being held at Sanandaj Central Prison in Kurdistan province. In January 2014, he was abruptly transferred to Marivan Prison in Kurdistan province, then to Zabol Prison in Sistan and Baluchistan province, and on March 19, 2014, to Zahedan Prison, according to Radio Zamaneh. Hassanpour’s sister told Radio Zamaneh that the reason for the transfer could have been a letter he wrote to President Hassan Rouhani in August 2013 in which the journalist expressed hope that voting for Rouhani would help bring peaceful change to Kurdistan province and its citizens.
Hassanpour was transferred back to Marivan Prison on April 19, 2014, according to HRANA. According to reports in August 2015, Hassanpour was then transferred to Sanandaj Central Prison in northwestern Iran.
Mohammad Seddigh Kaboudvand, Payam-e-Mardom
Plainclothes security officials arrested Kaboudvand, a 49-year-old journalist and human rights activist, at his Tehran office, according to Amnesty International and CPJ sources. He was being held at Evin Prison in Tehran.
Authorities charged Kaboudvand, head of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan and managing editor of the weekly Payam-e-Mardom, with acting against national security and engaging in propaganda against the state, according to his organization’s website. A Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced him to 11 years in prison in 2008.
Kaboudvand’s health deteriorated in prison, and he was consistently denied requests for medical leave or family visits. His wife, Farinaz Baghban Hassani, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) that when his family members were finally allowed to see him, they believed he had developed significant heart problems in custody. News accounts also reported that the journalist experienced severe dizziness and disruption of speech and vision.
Kaboudvand has waged several hunger strikes to protest authorities’ refusal to grant him a furlough to see his son, who had been diagnosed with leukemia, according to news reports. After he waged a hunger strike that left him hospitalized, authorities temporarily released him to visit his son in December 2012 on bail of 700 million toman (about US$25,000). The journalist returned to prison after four days, news reports said.
In 2013, security forces told Kaboudvand that they would file additional charges against him in connection with letters they alleged he had written to senior officials calling on them to respect human rights in the country, according to news reports. No additional charges had been filed in late 2014.
On April 17, 2014, security and intelligence agents on Ward 350 of Evin Prison severely beat and injured severalprisoners, according to news websites and human rights groups. Kaboudvand was badly injured. His wife, who visited him after the attack, told the reformist news website Kaleme that three of his ribs and two toes had been broken and that he had bruised knees and arms and swelling on the back of his head.
According to a March 2015 report by the ICHRI, Kaboudvand had served two-thirds of his 11-year sentence and was eligible for a conditional parole, but authorities had not responded to the family’s request for parole.
Arash Honarvar Shojaei, Freelance
October 28, 2010
On October 2, 2011, nearly a year after Shojaei was first jailed, a special clerical court sentenced him to four years in prison and 50 lashes on multiple charges of « acting against national security, » « espionage, » and « cooperation with foreign embassies, » the reformist news outlet Radio Zamaneh reported.
Shojaei told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in September 2013 that he had been sentenced to an additional year in prison on charges of « insulting Imam Khomeini » after he said in an interview during a previous furlough that Ayatollah Khomeini had « populist conduct. » He said that authorities considered the comment an insult.
Shojaei, a blogger and cleric, was also the author of the book Madar-e-Shari’at, about the dissident cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Kazem Shariatmadari, according to Radio Zamaneh. Shariatmadari had opposed the principle of velayat-e-faqih, which seeks to convey unlimited power to the supreme leader.
Shojaei was being held at Evin Prison, where he endured torture and several months of solitary confinement, according to the Human Rights House of Iran and Radio Zamaneh. The journalist developed a host of health problems-a heart condition, hearing impairment, epilepsy, brain atrophy, spinal disc problems, and diabetes-while he was in prison, reformist news websites said.
Shojaei was granted a medical furlough in November 2011 but was summoned back to Evin Prison in January 2012 before his medical treatment was completed, news reports said. He was briefly hospitalized in September 2012 after having a heart attack and seizure, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
The Human Rights Activists News Agency reported that Shojaei has waged multiple hunger strikes to protest his treatment in prison.
HRANA reported on July 28, 2014, that after an eight-day hunger strike, Shojaei was transferred to the infirmary in Evin Prison.
On December 30, 2014, authorities announced that a Special Clerical Court had found Shojaei guilty of « propagating against the state, » and « insulting the Supreme Leader, » according to Saham News. The new charges were related to an interview he gave to the reformist Kaleme website and statements he made about the Special Clerical Court, which he said treated him cruelly and did not allow him medical treatment while trying him on the original charges.
He was sentenced to an additional four years in prison, 50 lashes, 800,000 toman (about US$260) fine, and permanent defrocking. It was not clear when the sentence was handed down in court.
Mostafa Abdi, Majzooban-e-Noor
(was released on december 12, 2015, at the end of his 3 year sentence)
September 5, 2011
Abdi was one of at least 30 members of the religious minority Gonabadi dervishes who were arrested after a confrontation with plainclothes agents in the town of Kavar in Fars province, a spokesman for the group told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Among the detainees were journalists affiliated with Majzooban-e-Noor, a website that reports news about the Gonabadi dervish community, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and the reformist news websiteRooz Online. The Majzooban-e-Noor website listed the journalist detainees as Mostafa Daneshjoo, Afshin Karampour, Reza Entessari, Salehoddin Moradi, and Farshid Yadollahi as directors, and Omid Behrouzi and Amir Eslami as editors. Abdi is listed on the site as a reporter.
The journalists are also lawyers who have represented Gonabadi dervishes in recent years. On January 15, 2013, the journalists refused to attend their trial, saying the Revolutionary Court was not qualified to hear their case, news reports said. The journalists were put in solitary confinement in Evin Prison and charged with « publishing falsehoods, » « creating public anxiety, » « propaganda against the state, » and « acting against national security, » according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Majzooban-e-Noor said agents had targeted the journalists in an effort to silence news coverage of the group. The wife of another Majzooban-e-Noor journalist told the campaign that her husband and his colleagues had established the website so that « people would know what is happening to the dervishes. » She said the charges against the journalists were unfounded.
In July 2013, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced the journalists to three to 10 years each in prison on charges of « forming the illegal Majzooban-e-Noor group with the intent to disrupt national security, » « propaganda against the state, » « insulting the Supreme Leader, » and « participation in disrupting public order, » according to news reports. The journalists again refused to appear in court.
Moradi was given 10 years and six months in prison, and Entessari was given eight years and six months, according to news reports. Daneshjoo, Yadollahi, Eslami, Behrouzi, and Karampour were sentenced to seven and a half years in prison. The journalists were also banned for five years from « membership in groups, parties, sects, and activities in publications, media, and virtual space. »
Abdi was given three years in prison. Farhad Nouri, editor of Majzooban-e-Noor, told CPJ in late 2014 that Abdi was still being held in Evin Prison. It is unclear why authorities were still holding him.
Since 2014, Daneshjoo, Yadollahi, Karampour, Eslami, Behrouzi, Entessari, and Moradi have been released. According to news reports, Abdi was still imprisoned in late 2015.
Saeed Madani, Freelance
January 7, 2012
Security forces arrested Madani, a former editorial board member of the long-defunct Iran-e-Farda magazine and the former editor-in-chief of the quarterlyRefah-e-Ejtemaee (Journal of Social Welfare), and confiscated a computer hard drive from his home, news reports said.
The journalist was placed in solitary confinement after his arrest, Madani’s wife, Mansoureh Ettefagh, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran in March 2012. She also said their family had not been told of his condition in prison. The reformist news website Kaleme reported that Madani had been subjected to violent interrogations.
Madani faced trial on January 16, 2013, at a Tehran Revolutionary Court on charges of « propaganda against the state » and « assembly and collusion, » and offered a statement in his own defense, news reports said.
Madani’s wife told Kaleme in June 2013 that a Tehran Revolutionary Court had sentenced Madani to six years in prison in the southern city of Bandar Abbas and 10 years’ exile to the same city on charges of « assembly and collusion with the intent to commit a crime against national security » and « propaganda against the Islamic Republic to benefit regime opposition groups. » An appeals court upheld Madani’s sentence on February 19, 2014, according to the BBC’s Persian service.
In October 2015, the Supreme Court refused to grant Madani a retrial, his wife toldICHRI. The journalist’s retrial request was based on the fact that if the charges had been combined in one prosecution, he would have been released under Article 134 of Iran’s new penal code, under which a defendant should not serve more than the maximum punishment for the charge with the heaviest sentence, his wife said. Madani was sentenced on multiple charges.
Madani’s wife said the journalist had been denied furlough during his more than five years in prison, the ICHRI reported.
Khosrow Kordpour, Mukrian News Agency
March 7, 2013
Massoud Kordpour, Freelance
on december 13, 2015, after three years of his prison sentence)
March 8, 2013
Intelligence forces arrested Khosrow Kordpour, editor-in-chief of the Mukrian News Agency, an outlet that covers the arrests and prosecutions of Kurdish activists and documents human rights violations. The U.S. government-funded Radio Farda reported that authorities had a warrant for his arrest and also searched his home, but did not offer further details.
Kordpour’s brother, freelance journalist Massoud Kordpour, was arrested at the Boukan Intelligence Office the next day when he went to inquire about the imprisonment of his brother. Authorities later searched his home and confiscated personal items. Massoud Kordpour had frequently covered human rights in Kurdistan province, and his work has been published by RFI Persian, Deutsche Welle Persian, Voice of America Persian, and on local and Kurdish-language websites.
Massoud was initially held in solitary confinement before being transferred to Mahabad Prison in Azerbaijan province. Both journalists were then transferred to Orumiyeh Prison on March 26, 2013, according to the Kurdish news websiteKurdpa and Radio Zamaneh.
Neither journalist has been allowed access to his lawyer or family members, according to the independent press service Human Rights Activist News Agency. Another brother, As’ad, told Kurdpa on April 11, 2013, that a judge had forbidden the journalists’ family to visit the brothers.
The brothers were taken to court on September 16, 2013, and officially charged with « propaganda against the regime, » « insulting the supreme leader, » and « publishing falsehoods with the intent to create public anxiety, » according to the Mukrian News Agency. The judge did not issue a decision on the defense lawyer’s request to release the journalists on bail. Massoud and Khosrow Kordpour were sent back to prison.
Khosrow was sentenced to five years of prison in exile in Tabriz prison for « assembly and collusion, » and one year in prison and two years of exile for « propagating against the state. » Massoud was sentenced to three years for « assembly and collusion against national security » and six months for « propagating against the state. »
In 2014, an appellate court reduced Massoud’s sentence to three years in prison and Khosrow’s to five years in prison, including two years of imprisonment in exile in Tabriz prison.
Khosrow Kordpour was transferred to Tabriz Prison on March 19, 2014, according to Radio Zamaneh, and he was deniedfurlough, according to HRANA. Massoud Kordpour was allowed a short furlough in August 2014, according to HRANA.
Saeed Razavi Faghih, Sobh-e Emrooz, Bahar, Rooz Online
March 6, 2014
Razavi Faghih, a journalist for several reformist publications, was arrested on March 6, 2014, to begin serving a one-year prison term he was given in 2009. He had been convicted in absentia of « propagating against the regime » for unspecified « security crimes, » according to news reports citing the Iranian judiciary. Iranian authorities never disclosed the basis of the charges.
Razavi Faghih wrote for several reformist publications, including Sobh-e Emrooz,Bahar, Doran-e Emrooz, and Vaghaye Etefaghieh, and the English-language news website Rooz Online. He lived in Paris, but frequently traveled to Iran. He was arrested at Tehran’s Khomeini International Airport in March 2014.
The week before his 2014 arrest, he made a speech to a gathering of reformists in the city of Hamedan in which he criticized « the Guardian Council, Assembly of Experts, the Parliament and some state leaders, » according to the official IRNAnews agency, Radio Farda and VOA Persian.
In March 2015, after his one-year term was completed, Iranian authorities refused to release the journalist, telling his brother that he was facing new, unspecified charges, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
In September 2015, while Razavi Faghih was still held in Rajaee Shahr Prison, he was sentenced to an additional three and a half years in prison. Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court convicted him of « insulting the Supreme Leader » and « propagating against the state » in connection with his February 2014 speech.
The journalist was transferred to Imam Khomeini hospital for heart surgery in February 2015 but was taken back to prison a few days later, according to ICHRI. In September 2015, he began refusing to take any food or liquids in protest of not receiving adequate medical attention for his heart condition. Two days later, prison authorities took him to the hospital and he ended his strike, according to reports.
In September 2015, ICHRI reported that Razavi Faghih’s family was not able to visit for months and that his brother was told that the journalist had been barred from having visitors.
Razavi Faghih was not included in CPJ’s 2014 prison census because he was out on furlough on December 1, 2014.
Serajeddin Mirdamadi, Toos, Hayat-e No, Radio Zamaneh
Mirdamadi has been held in solitary confinement in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Ward 2-A at Evin Prison since his arrest on May 10, 2014, according to news reports. On July 27, 2014, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison on charges of « propaganda against the state » and « assembly and collusion against national security, » according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
The journalist had appealed the conviction, Mirdamadi’s lawyer told the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency on October 7, 2014, but no date had been set to hear the appeal.
Mirdamadi had worked for now-defunct reformist newspapers such as Toos andHayat-e No, according to the reformist news website Kaleme. He left Iran after the disputed 2009 presidential election, but wrote for the reformist news outlet Radio Zamaneh, which is based in Amsterdam, and had also given guest interviews to Farsi media outside Iran, according to Radio Farda. In his work, Mirdamadi criticized the views and policies of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
He returned to Iran shortly after the election of President Hassan Rouhani in 2013. Mirdamadi was summoned and interrogated several times before he was eventually arrested. News accounts did not specify which of his stories had led to the charges.
Mirdamadi is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. He suffers from neck pain and was hospitalized on May 12, 2015. According to Saham News, Mirdamadi had surgery to remove a metal fragment from his neck on May 23, 2015.
On July 27, 2015, the journalist was granted a five-day furlough to spend time with his family. Mirdamadi’s wife and children had traveled to Iran from France to visit him, according to local media.
Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post
July 22, 2014
Rezaian, correspondent for the U.S.-based Washington Post, was arrested in Tehran along with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, a journalist for the UAE’s Nationalnewspaper, according to news reports. Rezaian, a U.S. citizen, and Salehi were arrested after their Tehran home was raided by security forces who confiscated their personal belongings, including laptops, books, and notes, news reports said.The Washington Post reported on October 6 that Salehi had been freed the week before.
Before becoming The Washington Post correspondent in Tehran, Rezaian was a freelance reporter who wrote for publications outside Iran including the San Francisco Chronicle and Slate.
On May 26, 2015, Rezaian was tried in Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. The charges against him included espionage, « collaborating with hostile governments, » « propaganda against the establishment, » and allegations that he gathered information « about internal and foreign policy, » The Washington Postreported. His case file presented no evidence to justify the charges, according to a statement from Rezaian’s lawyer, Leila Ahsan, the Post reported.
After four closed-door hearings, Rezaian’s trial concluded on August 10, 2015. In speaking to reporters after the trial, Ahsan said Iranian law required the verdict to be issued in a week.
On October 12, 2015, Iranian media cited Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, a spokesman for Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, as saying that Rezaian had been convicted, according to the Post. Ejei did not specify the charges or whether a sentence had been given, the Post said.
In late 2014, Rezaian’s brother, Ali, told CPJ that the journalist had been kept in solitary confinement since his arrest, which had taken a toll on his mental and physical health. He was moved out of solitary in January 2015, his brother told The New York Times. Rezaian, who has high blood pressure, had developed problems with his eyes and other body pains.
The journalist was being held in Evin Prison, according to news reports.
Saeed Pourheydar, Freelance
January 4, 2015
The Iranian journalist and blogger Pourheydar was arrested in Tehran on January 4, 2015, about a month after he returned to Iran from the U.S., where he was living.
Pourheydar has written for numerous reformist outlets, including the dailiesHambastegi, Mardomsalari, and Sobh-e Emrooz and online website Radio Zamaneh and has given interviews to foreign-based media, including BBC Persian, Voice of America, and Radio Farda, in which he is referred to as a journalist.
In December 2010, Pourheydar left Iran and migrated to the U.S. In May 2011, he gave an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran about abuse and torture that he had undergone and witnessed as an imprisoned journalist in Iran. He also recorded testimony for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center in which he described the pressures he and other Iranian journalists faced, preventing them from reporting to the outside world what was taking place in the country.
Pourheydar returned to Iran in late 2014 and was arrested on January 4, 2015. He was charged with « propagating against the state, » « insulting the supreme leader, » and « publishing falsehood in cyber space. » On August 3, 2015, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced Pourheydar to five years in prison.
Iranian authorities have not revealed what alleged wrongdoing led to Pourheydar’s arrest and conviction. However, Firouzeh Ramezanzade, his former wife, told CPJ she believes the charges stem from the interviews he gave to human rights organizations and Persian media in which he criticized the Iranian government.
Pourheydar was first held at Evin Prison and later transferred to Rajaee Shahr prison. He appealed the 2015 conviction. The appeals court had not issued a ruling by late 2015, according to news reports.
After Iran’s contested presidential election in 2009, Pourheydar was arrestedtwice. In 2010, the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced him to a five-year suspended prison term for « assembly and collusion with the intent to commit crimes against national security, » according to reports.
Atena Farghadani, Freelance
January 10, 2015
Farghadani was arrested on January 10, 2015, after she published a YouTube videoin which she said that while she was jailed for three months in Evin Prison, female agents had mistreated her. She said that she was stripped and forced to submit to a nude search. In the video, Farghadani also said that cameras were present in the restrooms and shower of Evin Prison.
Farghadani had been imprisoned from August 2014 until November 2014 after she drew a cartoon of members of the Iranian parliament, depicting them as monkeys and cows over their vote to restrict contraception and ban some birth-control methods. She posted the cartoon on her Facebook page.
In February 2015, Farghadani began a hunger strike to protest the poor conditions at Gharchak Prison in the city of Varamin, which does not have a section for political prisoners. Her health suffered considerably. Her lawyer, Mohammad Moghimi, told the human rights group Amnesty International that Farghadani had a heart attack and briefly lost consciousness.
In June 2015, Farghadani was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison for « insulting parliament members, » « insulting the supreme leader, » « spreading propaganda against the system, » and « gathering and colluding against national security » in connection with the video and the cartoon. She appealed the sentence, reports said.
After her trial, Moghimi and Farghadani were both charged with « illegitimate sexual relations short of adultery » after the two shook hands in prison after her trial. They were tried behind closed doors in October 2015, according to news reports. No verdict had been issued in late 2015.
Cartoonists Rights Network International awarded its 2015 Courage in Editorial Cartooning to Farghadani. In September 2015, she waged another hunger strike, saying prison officials and guards verbally abuse her with sexual slurs and insults.
Kayvan Mehregan, Sharq
August 26, 2015
Mehregan was arrested on August 26, 2015, at the Passport Office in Tehran and was sent to Evin Prison to begin serving a one-year prison sentence he was given in 2012. He was convicted of « propagating against the state » and sentenced to one year in prison and a five-year ban from « journalistic, political, cultural or cyber activities. »
In a Facebook post on August 26, 2015, Mehregan’s wife, Afsaneh Parchekani, wrote that the journalist’s 2012 conviction was in connection with his work as the political editor of the reformist daily Sharq. In December 2010, Mehregan and several other journalists were arrested at Sharq headquarters. Following Iran’s disputed presidential election in June 2009, many opposition newspapers had shut down. On the day that Sharq was raided, the newspaper published a special section called « The Student Movement is Alive. »
Mehregan has been briefly imprisoned several times in the past few years. He was also arrested in June 2013 after he attended the funeral of Hoda Saber, a jailed Iranian journalist and activist who died of a heart attack after a hunger strike in Evin Prison. In December 2009, when Mehregan was the political editor of the reformist daily Etemad, he was arrested and held for one month after he discussed the government’s press policies in an interview with Deutsche Welle’s Persian service. He was released on bail.
It is not clear if Mehregan is appealing the conviction.
Hassan Sheikh Aghaei, Ruwange
October 7, 2015
Sheikh Aghaei, cartoonist and editor of the Kurdish news website Ruwange, was arrested at work in the northwestern city of Mahabad on October 7, 2015, and taken to an undisclosed location, according to the website Mukrian News.
Ruwange covers regional news, including political and social issues, with a special focus on issues of concern to Kurdish Iranians. Some of its reports include a story citing official numbers on how 10 million people in rural Iran are unemployed; a story about Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s speech in late 2015 in which he said dialogue and negotiations with the U.S. are banned; and a story about a Kurdish-Iranian photographer who won an award in the U.S.
According to news reports, Yones Ghorbanifar, another member of Ruwange‘s editorial board, was arrested on the same day, but released hours later. After the arrests, Ruwange‘s editorial board said it « no longer had control over the site » and would not be responsible for material that was published on the website.
As of late 2015, the website was still available, but the last story was published on October 7, 2015, the day Sheikh Aghaei was arrested.
According to Mukrian News, judicial and security authorities in Mahabad refused to tell the journalist’s family where he had been taken. The authorities did not disclose the reason for the journalist’s arrest to his family.
According to news reports, in 2009 Sheikh Aghaei worked for presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi’s campaign. He was arrested on July 18, 2009, and released shortly after, according to Radio Farda. Although the authorities did not disclose their reasons for the 2009 arrest, his family told journalists at the time that they suspected it was because of Sheikh Aghaei’s work in Mousavi’s campaign.
Ehsan Mazandarani, Farhikhtegan
November 2, 2015
On November 3, 2015, local media outlets with close ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reported that five local journalists had been arrested for being part of an « infiltration network » with links to Western countries. The news website Rah-e Dana quoted an unspecified source in identifying one of the journalists as Ehsan Mazandarani.
Mazandarani, reporter and publisher of the newspaper Farhikhtegan, was arrested at his home. An unidentified reporter at Farhikhtegan, in an interview with ICHRI, speculated that Mazandarani was arrested because of a post on his Instagram page. On October 31, 2015, Mazandarani published a photo of the cover story of Vatan-e Emrooz newspaper, called « Cracking the Mystery of an Armed Quarrel in Yaser, » about a disagreement between the son of a former warden of Evin Prison and a bodyguard for the former Iranian president. Mazandarani challenged Vatan-e-Emrooz‘s story in his Instagram post and said Ehsan Lajavardi, the son of the warden, was to blame for the incident.
Ehsan Mazandarni was also arrested in 2009, following Iran’s disputed presidential election. At the time, he was working for the reformist Etemadnewspaper. Mazandarani was released three weeks later after posting bond. While the charges against him were never revealed, at the time, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence announced most arrested journalists were accused of « connection with foreigners. »
Iranian officials have not publicly disclosed Mazandarani’s health status, location, or any charges against him.
Issa Saharkhiz, Freelance
November 2, 2015
Saharkhiz a prominent Iranian journalist, was arrested on November 12, 2015, for « insulting the supreme leader, » and « propaganda against the regime, » according to his Facebook page. CPJ was unable to determine who wrote the post.
The next day, local media outlets with close ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reported that five local journalists had been arrested for being part of an « infiltration network » with links to Western countries. The news website Rah-e-Dana quoted an unspecified source in identifying one of the journalists as Issa Saharkhiz.
Iranian authorities did not disclose a reason for the arrest.
The day before his arrest, Saharkhiz had published a Facebook post in which he accused a representative of the Supreme Leader as attempting to interfere in the Iran’s coming elections.
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on the day of the arrest, Mehdi, Saharkhiz’ son said that all of his father’s activities had been legal. « Since two years ago, when my father was released from prison he has just continued giving interviews to media outlets and posts his personal opinions on Facebook, » Mehdi said. « Beside these activities, he has not done anything else. The Supreme Leader has a personal vendetta against my father because he dares to criticize him. »
Saharkhiz, who previously served as deputy minister of culture, was imprisoned from 2009 to 2013 on charges of « insulting the supreme leader » and « propagating against the state. » He has a number of serious health issues, including heart problems, and spent part of his last sentence in a hospital, according to local news reports.
November 2, 2015
Intelligence officers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) arrested Chitsaz, a columnist for Iran, a popular state newspaper affiliated with Iran’s official news agency, on November 2, 2015, according to local news reports. The next day, local media outlets with close ties to the IRGC reported that five local journalists had been arrested for being part of an « infiltration network » with links to Western countries. Saham News, a news website with close ties to detained opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi, reported that Chitsaz was one of the five journalists.
Chitsaz is a former actress and costume designer. She began working as a journalist in recent years and mostly covered foreign policy stories. Saham Newsreported that she was closely associated with high-profile officials in President Hassan Rouhani’s government, but did not elaborate.
Iranian authorities have not disclosed Chitsaz’s health status, whereabouts, or any charges against her.
Saman Safarzaee,Andisheh Pouya
November 2, 2015
Intelligence officers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) arrested Safarzaee, a reporter for the monthly Andisheh Pouya, on November 2, 2015, local media reported. The next day, local media outlets with close ties to the IRGC reported that five local journalists had been arrested for being part of an « infiltration network » with links to Western countries. Saham News, a news website with close ties to detained opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi, reported that Safarzaee was one of the five journalists.
Safarzaee worked on Andisheh Pouya‘s international desk and often « interviewed many foreign experts and international politicians, » according to Saham News.
Iranian authorities have not disclosed Safarzaee’s whereabouts, health status, or any charges against him.
Hadi Heydari, Shahrvand
November 16, 2015
Security agents arrested Heydari, the artistic director of the reformist-leaning dailyShahrvand, at the newspaper’s offices in Tehran, according to local news reports.Shahrvand is owned by the relief organization Red Crescent Society.
The allegations against Heydari, 38, are unclear, and the agents who arrested him did not provide a reason for the arrest, according to news reports. Heydari’s lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, in an interview with the Tansim news agency, said he was unaware why his client had been arrested. « I haven’t had any contact with him since his arrest, » Nikbakht said. « Judicial authorities must provide explanation. »
Heydari, a cartoonist, has worked for the news outlets Mosharekat, Etemad-e Meli,Bahar, Eghbal and Etefaghiyeh, according to Saham News. His work has been published in international outlets such as Politico and Le Figaro. The last cartoonpublished before his arrest was about the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, in Shahrvand.
In September 2012, a controversial cartoon by Heydari called « Blindfolding » was published in the daily Sharq. The next day, the newspaper was banned. Critics accused Heydari of insulting Iran-Iraq War veterans by depicting them as entering the eight-year war with Iraq wearing blindfolds. Heydari was summoned to court and denied the cartoon had any link to the war. Both Heydari and Sharq wereacquitted of the charges on December 29, 2012, and the newspaper resumed publication.
Heydari was also detained for two weeks in 2009 following Iran’s disputed presidential election. He was arrested again in December 2010 on charges of « propaganda against the state. » He was released two months later on a 500-million-toman bail (about US$15,000). It is not clear if a trial took place.
The Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency reported that Heydari is being held in Evin Prison.
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