Iran: Concerns over fate of four journalists detained in Evin prison

Four journalists are still unaccounted for following the major fire at Iran’s Evin prison on 15 October. The International Federation of journalists (IFJ) has expressed its grave concern for the fate of the four and called on the authorities to provide urgent updates on their situation. The IFJ has been informed that the families of the four detained journalists have still heard nothing from them following the fire at the prison in Tehran where many political prisoners and journalists are being held.

A picture obtained from the Iranian Mizan News Agency on October 16, 2022 shows damage caused by a fire in the notorious Evin prison, northwest of the Iranian capital Tehran. KOOSHA MAHSHID FALAHI / MIZAN / AFP

Eight prisoners are reported to have died and over 60 were injured following the fire, officials say. While some of the journalists detained have confirmed they were safe to their families, no information has been received from four of them.

Clashes erupted late on 15 october between prisoners and prison personnel at Evin prison leading to a fire at the prison. Several explosions and shooting have been heard and tear gas has been fired at inmates.

According to IFJ statistics, at least 10 journalists are detained in Evin, including some of those arrested during the nationwide protest following Mehsa Amini’s murder.

While Elaha Mohammadi, Nilufar Hamedi, Aliya Matlabzadeh, Alireza Khoshbakht, Vida Rabani and Fatemeh Rajabi have called their family and informed them they were safe, four male journalists - Ruhollah Nakhai, Alireza Jabari Darestani, Ahmadreza Halabisaz and Farshid Gurbanpour - have given no news, raising concerns about their fate.

All face-to-face visits in Evin are now on hold and many Iranians have received no information on the situation of family members and friends.

Twenty-four journalists have been arrested since the beginning of the protests in Iran, according to IFJ statistics. Six have been released and 18 remain in jail. Four other journalists were detained before the start of the protest, bringing the total to 22.

IFJ General Secretary Antony Bellanger said: “ We are very concerned about the fate of our colleagues in Evin and remind the Iranian authorities that they are responsible for the lives of journalists in prison. Once again we demand the immediate release of all journalists who are unfairly detained in Evin and other prisons in Iran for doing their job.”

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

Follow the IFJ on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Subscribe to IFJ News