The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged Iranian authorities to immediately release from custody Mohammad Mir-Ghasemzadeh, who was reporting on alleged official corruption.
On November 27, security agents with the Intelligence Ministry arrested Mir-Ghasemzadeh, a journalist in the northern city of Someh Sara, and took him to a detention center in Rasht, according to news reports and a source who spoke to CPJ.
As of November 30, authorities had not disclosed the reason behind the arrest or any potential charges against Mir-Ghasemzadeh, according to the New York-based media freedom watchdog.
The journalist was allegedly beaten in custody.
“Iranian authorities are desperate to silence their critics,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour.
“Authorities must realize that jailing journalists and critical voices won’t help them in hiding Iran’s difficult realities and release Mir-Ghasemzadeh and all jailed journalists immediately,” he said.
The New York-based Independent Center on Human Rights in Iran reported that Mir-Ghasemzadeh was recently working on a series of reports exposing the alleged financial corruption of a parliament member from Gilan province.
Mir-Ghasemzadeh’s arrest comes as Iranian authorities are ramping up pressure on journalists across the country.
Two journalists, Saeedeh Shafiei and Nasim Sultanbeigi, went to Tehran’s Evin prison earlier this month to begin serving their sentences of three and a half years.
“The Islamic Republic continues to exact its revenge against journalists who…have fulfilled their duties in serving the public’s right to news and information,” the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said on November 23.