close button
Switch to Iranwire Light?
It looks like you’re having trouble loading the content on this page. Switch to Iranwire Light instead.
Journalism is not a Crime

Media Watchdog Denounces "Climate of Fear" for Iranian Journalists

May 17, 2023
2 min read
Media Watchdog Denounces "Climate of Fear" for Iranian Journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged the Iranian authorities to "stop terrorising" journalists and release all those detained during their months-long crackdown on dissent and the media.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has resumed its heavy-handed arrests of journalists after a brief respite," the Paris-based media freedom watchdog said in a statement on May 17.

"What with their being subjected to raids on their homes, physical violence and being held incommunicado, this renewed climate of fear for Iranian journalists is unacceptable," said Jonathan Dagher, head of RSF’s Middle East desk.

Alieh Matalabzadeh, a freelance photojournalist and women’s rights activist, is one of the latest victims of the clampdown. She was manhandled when police officers raided and searched her home on May 10 and ordered her to present herself for interrogation at the prosecutor’s office in Tehran’s Evin prison within five days.

Matalabzadeh was targeted for participating in an virtual panel discussion last month that was organized by a group of Iranian journalists and academics. In her speech, the journalist and activist criticized the government's repressive policies and accused officials of being corrupt.

On the eve of this event, Keyvan Samini, a well-known 74-year-old journalist who planned to participate, was arrested for having “connections with hostile anti-state groups in exile.” 

He was held incommunicado for 20 days, before being transferred to Evin prison.

Sajjad Shahrabi, a journalist with state-owned Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), was arrested on May 3 and taken to Evin prison after security forces raided his father’s home, where he lives, and confiscated his and his family’s personal and electronic items.

It is not yet known what he is accused of.

Shahrabi also hosts a weekly satirical sports program for the state-run

RSF said that the Iranian authorities have arrested 75 journalists since the start of nationwide protests in September 2022. Seventeen of them are still incarcerated. 

"Despite a series of pardons for journalists in March, many are still being harassed, spied on or threatened," the group said, adding that "at least one pardon for an exile journalist was recently revoked."



Iranian Foundation Auctioned Off $259 Billion Worth of Real Estate

May 17, 2023
1 min read
Iranian Foundation Auctioned Off $259 Billion Worth of Real Estate