Editor of Prominent Iranian Reformist Newspaper Etemad Arrested for Fourth Time
Journalist Sasan Aghaei Repeatedly Targeted by Security Organizations
The arrest of Sasan Aghaei, the deputy editor of the reformist daily newspaper Etemad, at his office in Tehran on August 13, 2017, marks the fourth time the journalist has been detained since 2009.
The charges against Aghaei, and which authority he was detained by, remain unknown, a source close to the Aghaei family who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
Following the arrest, agents took Aghaei to his home where they conducted a raid and confiscated some of his personal belongings, the source added. He was then transferred to Evin Prison where he has been ordered to remain for more than month by the Media Court.
Aghaei, who writes a political column for Etemad, was previously arrested in January 2013 during a crackdown led by security forces on Iranian citizens who had allegedly cooperated with Persian-language media based abroad. He was released soon after without charge.
Prior to that Aghaei was arrested in 2002 during a rally to commemorate the July 1999 student uprising at Tehran University. He was released 15 days later without charge after being held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison’s Ward 240, controlled by the Intelligence Ministry.
Aghaei was also arrested on November 22, 2009 for defending protests against the outcome of that year’s widely disputed presidential election.
Held for 128 days in Evin Prison, he was sentenced to a year in prison by Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court for “propaganda against the state.” However, the sentence was not carried out and Aghaei was released on 50 million tomans ($15,300 USD) bail.
Aghaei began his journalism career in 2001. Before joining Etemad, he worked for several other moderate and reformist newspapers, including Yas-e-No, Farhikhtegan and Hambastigi.