Iranians ‘No Longer Willing to Stay Quiet’

Voice of America – 21 Jan. 2022

When Iranian journalist in exile Aida Ghajar broke the story on Mahsa Amini, she had no idea it would have such an impact. Ghajar shares her experiences growing up in Iran, being forced into exile, and breaking the story that led to widespread protests. Yeganeh Rezaian, senior researcher at CPJ, discusses the ongoing security concerns for journalists inside Iran. 

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With Mass Arrests, ‘Worst Time’ to Be a Journalist in Iran

Voice of America – 28 Dec. 2022

A record number of journalists have been jailed in Iran since the start of the September protests. Rights groups report abuse including gendered violations and sexual assaults among women, forced confessions, overcrowded cells, solitary confinement, denied access to medical care, and threat of execution.  

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Record Number of Journalists Jailed Globally

Voice of America – 14 Dec. 2022

Criminalization of journalism is on the rise around the globe with a record 363 journalists in prison, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual report. This year, Iran was the top jailer, with 62 behind bars, the majority of whom were arrested for covering the ongoing protests.  

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‘They Just Disappear’: Iran’s Journalists Detained Over Protest Coverage

Voice of America – 30 Oct 2022

After the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died while in police custody, protests erupted in nearly 80 cities across Iran. The Islamic Republic has responded by arresting thousands including 28 journalists who were covering the protests. Many were taken at night by plain clothed agents without arrest warrants, court documents, or formal charges. They have effectively been disappeared. The Committee to Protect Journalists and the Coalition For Women In Journalism are working to keep them visible and to advocate for their release. 

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 BBC Calls out Iran for Escalation in Threats to Staff

Voice of America – 18 Feb. 2022

For many journalists, reporting on Iran is a dangerous job and living abroad doesn’t grant protection or immunity. I spoke to a senior BBC Persian correspondent in London about the tactics of intimidation that have been carried out by Iranian intelligence agents. Instituting travel bans, freezing assets, detaining and kidnapping family members, and, in some cases, murder have all been used in an attempt to silence journalists. 

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Iran: A Prison for Free Expression

Voice of America – 29 Oct. 2021

At the end of 2020, at least 15 journalists were imprisoned in Iran. Since 2003, four have died while in custody. Evin Prison has become notorious for holding journalists, activists, and political prisoners accused of being “threats to national security.” In 2021, three members of the Iranian Writers Association were awarded PEN America’s Barbey Freedom to Write award for their continued advocacy on behalf of free expression in Iran. All three were imprisoned in Evin. Since this article was published, Baktash Abtin, writer, poet, filmmaker and Barbey Awardee, died from complications of COVID-19 contracted while in prison.

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