Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the latest crackdown on journalists in Iran, describing it as a new wave of media suppression in the country.
A recent spate of arrests of journalists has included Ms. Saba Azarpeyk, a former reporter with the pro-reformist daily Etemad, freelance journalist Ejlal Qawami, and Massoud Kazemi, a reporter with the pro-reformist daily Sharq. The managing editor of the Kurdish minority outlet Hiwa News, Kazem Imanzadeh, was summoned for questioning by judicial officials.
“We call for the immediate release of journalists held arbitrarily and urge the regime to stop suppressing the freedom to inform,” said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran/Afghanistan desk.
Ms. Azarpeyk had recently accused the former minister of Industry, Mines, and Trade, Mohammad Shariatmadari, of financial corruption, and published several documents supporting her claims.
"She was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence agents during a raid on her home October 29 and her accounts on Twitter and the encrypted messaging app Telegram were shut down shortly thereafter,” RSF’s statement read.
Azarpeyk, according to RSF, "Had just accused newly appointed Labor Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari—a former Mines, Industry, and Commerce minister with a murky intelligence agency background—of corruption and favoritism. Posted on social networks with supporting documents, her accusations came just before a vote of confidence in parliament October 27 and caused a major stir online and within Iran’s political class.”
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