Journalists Condemn Arrest of Reformist Reporter Ahead of World Press Freedom Day
Marzieh Amiri, a reporter for the reformist Shargh newspaper, has been in Evin Prison’s Ward 209 under the control of the Intelligence Ministry since she was arrested while covering a Labor Day protest in Tehran on May 1, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.
Amiri was detained after she went to a detention center on Vozara St. to inquire about workers’ rights activists who’d been arrested at a rally near Iran’s Parliament, according to tweets by Shargh reporters.
Judicial authorities have not commented on the reason for her arrest.
“Shargh newspaper is continuing to ascertain the arresting authority,” tweeted the daily newspaper on May 3.
Amiri, also an undergraduate student in sociology at the University of Tehran, was previously detained during a protest in front of the Labor Ministry on March 8, 2018, International Women’s Day. She was released four days later.
The journalist’s latest arrest, two days before World Press Freedom Day on May 3, was widely criticized by her Iranian colleagues on social media.
“Marzieh Amiri is one of the best and purest journalists in Iran,” Shargh journalist Mohammad Mosaed tweeted. “I haven’t heard her voice for three days. She is missed in the newsroom. Your Excellencies, forget about press freedom and honoring its international day! Give back our colleague!”
Author Amirhossein Khorshidfar reacted, “Amiri is among the last of a dying breed of honorable reporters. Censorship, high paper costs, and incompetent managers are killing the press… Marzieh Amiri should be free.”
Another Shargh journalist, Shima Bahremand, wrote: “Marzieh Amiri, our good and professional colleague from the economy desk, was arrested in connection with International Labor Day protests… Hearing about journalists held behind bars is the most bitter news on World Press Freedom Day.”
Alireza Davari, a former adviser to the Interior Ministry, tweeted: “Mr. Rouhani! According to Article 27 of the Constitution, people are free to assemble without carrying weapons but the Intelligence Ministry under your command… has arrested a group of workers, teachers and journalists during the most recent [Labor Day] rally: Marzieh Amiri, Reza Shahabi, Hassan Saeedi…”
Former imprisoned journalist Saba Azarpeik wrote: “It was shameful to arrest the Shargh newspaper reporter who was covering the workers’ rally. Neither the labor minister, nor the guidance minister or the Intelligence Minister is giving answers. Are you that incompetent, Mr. Rouhani?”
Shahrvand newspaper reporter Mohammad Bagherzadeh commented: “Marzieh Amiri… was arrested for doing her job: Journalism. In 2018 Amiri wrote one of the most important articles in Iranian media about the role of celebrities in [the corruption] case involving the Samenol Hojaj [credit institution].”