Three more women journalists were jailed in Tehran over less than 48 hours, Iran Wire reported on Tuesday.
The total number of journalists that have been arrested in Iran since the start of the nationwide protests stands at 55 as of Monday, with 16 women among the imprisoned journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Of the total number of arrested journalists, 27 remain behind bars, while the others have been released on bail. The RSF has called on the Iranian authorities to “release the detained journalists immediately and drop all charges against them”.
On 21 January, Melika Hashemi from Shahr News Agency was called into Evin prison for questioning. The next morning, freelance journalists Mehrnoush Zarei and Saeede Shafiei were arrested and also taken to the notorious prison. The reasons for Zarei’s arrest are currently unknown, while there are reports that Shafiei was being charged with “propaganda against the system and action against national security”, RSF reported.
“The Islamic Republic must immediately release journalists Melika Hashemi, Saeede Shafiei and Mehrnoush Zarei, as well as all reporters, photographers, and bloggers detained in connection with the Mahsa Amini protests,” said RSF’s Middle East desk chief Jonathan Dagher.
Eight journalists and photographers have been arrested since the start of 2023. Photographer Ahmad Halabisaz announced on 16 January that he had been sentenced to two years in Evin prison, while journalist Alireza Khoshbat received a five-year sentence the next day.
Iran’s crackdown on protesters, with hundreds of killings, mass detentions and four executions so far, has failed to slow down the uprisings that still continue after five months.