CPJ has learned from reliable sources inside Iran that at least 17 journalists were arrested this week as clashes between security forces and protesters over the death in morality-police custody of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, left dozens dead.
Details of the arrests are sparse following a near-total internet blackout and reports of major disruptions to phone networks and social media networks, but include Iranian photojournalist Yalda Moaiery and Shargh Daily reporter Niloofar Hamedi.
“Iranian authorities must immediately release all journalists arrested because of their coverage of Mahsa Amini’s death and the protests that have followed,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour. “Iranian security forces must drop their repressive measures against the journalists telling this critical story and restore the internet access that is vital to keep the public informed.”
The Taliban’s August 2021 takeback of power in Afghanistan has devastated the vibrant media landscape that developed after the U.S.-led invasion 20 years earlier. Between censorship, arrests, assaults, restrictions on women journalists, the flight of experienced reporters, and the country’s declining economy, Afghan media are struggling to survive.
Yet in spite of these challenges, a CPJ special report found glimmers of hope amid the difficulties. Afghan journalists are finding ways to keep covering the news–either from inside the country or from their places of exile.
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