Iran on Thursday detained a reporter covering Mahsa Amini’s funeral, her lawyer said, the latest in a growing number of journalists arrested since protests erupted over the young woman’s death.
Elahe Mohammadi was summoned by the judicial authorities but then arrested on the way to be questioned by security forces, her lawyer Mohammad Ali Kamfirouzi wrote on Twitter.
Mohammadi had reported for the Iranian newspaper Ham Mihan on the funeral of Amini, 22, who had spent three days in a coma after being arrested by Tehran’s notorious morality police and died on September 16.
The funeral in Amini’s hometown of Saqqez in Kurdistan Province was one of the sparks that ignited the protest movement, as mourners shouted their slogans and mourners removed their headscarves, despite the Islamic Republic’s dress code.
Last week, security forces searched Mohammadi’s house in Tehran, her lawyer said. Her husband wrote on Twitter that she said in a short phone call that she was being held in Tehran’s Evin prison and had not been informed of any charges.
Her arrest comes after police arrested Shargh newspaper journalist Nilufar Hamedi, who went to the hospital where Amini was in a coma and helped publicize the case to the world.
Hamedi remains in detention, also in Tehran’s Evin prison, and her husband said she was not aware of the charges against her.
Rights groups have accused Iran of conducting a major crackdown on critical journalists who remain in the country, particularly those who covered the Amini case. Internet access is also severely restricted.
Activists say Amini was killed as a result of blows to the head he received while in detention, but this has not been confirmed by authorities.
The Washington-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says at least 25 journalists have been arrested since the protests began.
“Iranian security forces must end their repressive measures against the journalists telling this critical story and restore internet access, which is essential for keeping the public informed,” CPJ Middle East Coordinator Sherif Mansour said.
Also captured is photojournalist Yalda Moaiery, who gained international recognition for an iconic photo of protests in 2019, and is being held at Qarchak women’s prison outside Tehran, which is notorious for its conditions.
She was arrested on September 19 while covering a protest in Tehran, the CPJ said.
The Paris-based organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said that at least 33 journalists are currently being held in Iran.
“Iranian journalists are facing a new wave of restrictions,” it said.