The Photojournalists' Association of Iran has announced the arrest of one of its members, news and sport photographer Aria Jafari. It demanded that the authorities release him.
Jafari had been working for Iran's student news agency, ISNA, in Isfahan. According to a note published on the association’s Instagram page, he was arrested by the security forces at his home on Sunday, September 25. Like many of the families of those detained over the past two weeks of protests, Jafari’s relatives have not heard from him and they do not know the reason for his arrest.
Aria Jafari has worked as a press photographer in Iran's domestic media for many years. He has won several awards, including two for Iran’s Press Photo of the Year.
Jafari’s arrest comes amid a wave of arrests of news personnel. Reporters Mohsen Raori and Mohsen Ahmadizadeh from Jiroft were arrested by the security forces on September 23. Again, there is no information about their whereabouts.
Iran stands almost at the bottom of the latest rank of countries for media freedom in 2022, in third to last place above only North Korea and Eritrea.
According to the list prepared by Reporters Without Borders, press freedom has declined in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belarus, Russia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Oman.
Northern Europe has the highest level of media freedom worldwide, with Norway ranking first. Nordic neighbours Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Finland make up the rest of the top five.