Iran : Prominent journalist arrested less than three months after his release

On 20 April, prominent journalist Keyvan Samimi was arrested again in Tehran after being released three months ago. The arrest comes amid a continuing crackdown against journalists. As of today, 18 journalists are still being held in prison for their coverage of the civil unrest. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Tehran Province Journalists Association (TPJA) in calling on the Iranian authorities to free all imprisoned journalists and media workers and to stop the media crackdown.


Keyvan Samimi, editor-in-chief of the Iran-e-Farda magazine and head of the Press Freedom Defense Association in Iran, was arrested in Tehran on 20 April by unknown security forces in Iran, barely three months after being released from prison. 

His family and lawyer said that they did not know who arrested the 74-year-old journalist and where he was being detained.

Shortly after the arrest, Iran's national broadcaster declared that Samimi was being detained because he had contact with "anti-revolutionary groups abroad". Samimi’s lawyer, Mostafa Nili, wrote on his Twitter account that he and the journalist's family were concerned about his health.

This was by no means the first time that Samimi had been arrested. The journalist had just been released on 26 January after servinga 2-year prison sentence. He was also imprisoned for six years after the controversial 2009 presidential election.

The arrest comes amid an ongoing wave of repression against journalists since Mahsa Amini’s death on 16 September 2022.

On April 10, a week before Samimi’s arrest, journalist and women’s rights activist Jina Modares Gorji was arrestedat her workplace by Iranian authorities after being summoned several times by the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj for allegedly “acting against national security”. She was previously detained during anti-government protests in Sanandaj on 21 September, 2022 and was released on bail after spending 40 days in custody. 

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "We cannot sit in silence when Iranian authorities continue to arrest our colleagues for just doing their job. We urge the Iranian authorities to immediately release all journalists and media workers in jail and to stop the media clampdown. "


Journalists currently in jail in Iran : 

1- Mrs Nilofar Hamedi, a journalist and reporter at Shargh newspaper, was arrested at her home in Tehran on September 22 2022.

2- Mrs Elahe Mohammadi, a journalist and reporter at Hammihan newspaper, was arrested on September 23 at her home in Tehran.

3- Mr Alireza Jabari Darestani, Journalist at Mehr news agency, was arrested on September 25 in Tehran.

4- Mr Iman Beh Pasand, a freelance journalist, was arrested on September 22 at his home in Tehran.

5- Mrs Vida Rabani, a freelance journalist at Shargh newspaper, was arrested on September 24 at her home in Tehran.

6- Mrs Maliheh Daraki, a freelance photojournalist in Shiraz city, was arrested on October 26 while covering a protest in Abadan city.

7- Mrs Farzaneh Yahya Abadi, a local freelance journalist in Abadan city, was arrested at her workplace on October 19.

8- Mrs Farkhondeh Ashoori, a Freelance journalist and former reporter at Fars news agency, was arrested on October 17 in Shiraz city.

9- Mr Hashem Moazen Zadeh, a freelance journalist, was arrested on September 23 in Tehran.

10- Mrs Ziba Omidifar, a journalist at Kurdpress, was arrested on December 8.

11- Mrs Maral Dar Afarin, a local journalist in Gilan province, was arrested on November 1.

12- Mrs Melika Hashemi, a freelance journalist, was arrested on January 21 after being summoned to court.

13- Mr Amir Maskani, editor-in-chief of Sabzevar e Emrooz magazine, was arrested on November 22 in Sabzevar city.

14- Mr Siamand Mohtadi, a freelance journalist, was arrested on February 13 in Bukan City.

15- Mr Seyed Ali Poortabatabaei, a journalist at the Qom News website, was arrested on March 5 in Qom City.

16- Mr Morteza Haghbaian, a freelance journalist who was arrested on May 19 2022, has been sentenced to a two-year and six months jail sentence.

17- Mrs Jina Modares Gorji, a freelance journalist, was arrested on 11 April in Sanandaj city.

18- Keyvan Samimi, the chief editor of Iran-e-Farda magazine, was arrested on 20 April.

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