Shargh journalist Marzieh Amiri has been transferred to Evin Prison after being held in an unknown location since her arrest on May 1, International Workers’ Day.
She will also face further interrogations. The charges against her are not known.
Amiri telephoned her family on May 8 to inform them of the news. She said her interrogations were being extended for at least five more days. However, she was not able to divulge where she had been incarcerated prior to the transfer, or whether she had been arrested by security or intelligence agents, or by police. The arresting officers had been dressed in plain clothes.
Marzieh Amiri writes on the economy for Shargh, one of Iran’s best-known reformist newspapers, and studies sociology at Tehran University. She was arrested during peaceful protests.
Amiri’s phone call with her family came a day after a Twitterstorm using the hashtag #WhereIsMarzieh called for more information about her case. Prior to this, her family’s attempts to find out where she was were met with silence. State media reported that she was being kept in Ward 209 of Evin Prison, which is controlled by the Intelligence Ministry. However, when her family called the ward’s reception, they were told Amiri was not being held there.
One of Amiri’s close friends told Journalism is Not A Crime that Amiri’s arrest on International Workers’ Day was not arbitrary, and that the arresting agents had an arrest warrant with her name on it.
So far Shargh newspaper has not issued a statement about the detention of its journalist. However, on the day of the arrest, it tweeted the news and said it was following up on her case. It has made no further comment since then.
Speaking to state media, member of parliament Mohammad-Ali Pourmokhtar said: “I don’t know this journalist personally. But journalists don’t have the right to report on anything they want. Some of them don’t even participate in the protests and just encourage others to join. They are the problem.” He also stated that there was nothing wrong with Amiri’s arrest since she had been exposing important information to enemy states.
But he added: “Although it’s not clear to me where she is being kept, it’s the law that any suspect should have the right to call their family after the first 48 hours and notify them of their location.”
Marzieh Amiri has been arrested twice before, first during the January 2018 protests that erupted in dozens of Iranian cities. She was then arrested on March 8, 2018 during a march for International Women’s Day, and released on bail a few weeks later.