Iranian authorities re-arrested Kurdish journalist Nazila Maroufian on Monday only a day after release, convicted over an interview with the father of protest icon Jîna (Mahsa) Amini, who died in 2022 under morality police custody, allegedly beaten for not wearing her headscarf properly.
As Maroufian left Tehran’s Evin prison on Sunday she posted a picture of herself online, without a legally required head covering, captioned, “Don’t accept slavery – you deserve the best!” By Monday she was incarcerated in Qarchak women’s prison, notorious for poor conditions.
Maroufian’s re-arrest comes at a critical time, a month ahead of the one-year anniversary of Amini’s death. Amini’s comatose death, allegedly after being beaten by patrol officers specialising in enforcing the Republic’s strict Islamic dress code, sparked the largest and most far-reaching anti-government protest action Iran has seen in decades.
The journalist, from Amini’s hometown of Saqqez, published the interview with Amini’s father in October. He accused Iranian authorities of lying about the cause of his daughter’s death in morality police custody. Maroufian was first arrested in November and sentenced to two years in jail – suspended for five years – on charges of propaganda against the system and spreading false news.
After being released on bail on Sunday, an incident unfolded when the young journalist went to retrieve her mobile phone from a police station and was allegedly attacked by law enforcement officers. This prompted her mother, Farideh Rabbani, who was with her, to ask, “Do you want to kill my daughter like you killed Jina Amini?” Allegedly, the officers responded, “Yes, we will kill your daughter exactly as we killed Jina.”
Maroufian’s re-arrest follows a similar incident involving Sepideh Gholian, who was re-arrested in March, hours after her release from Evin prison, where she had spent the previous four years.
The two journalists to first report on Amini’s death, Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, were arrested in November. Charged with corruption on earth, propaganda against the state, and conspiring against national security, they could face the death penalty.
Jina Amini’s family has also faced attacks, being placed under house arrest as thousands gathered for Amini’s funeral last autumn. Amini’s tombstone has been repeatedly vandalised.