On April 2, 2020, security agents in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah arrested and detained Kurdish Iranian journalist Gholamreza Noori Ala for several hours and then released him, according to a report posted to Telegram by the Tehran Journalists Association, a local trade group, and an employee of the association, who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.
Authorities detained Noori Ala after he shared a story he wrote on the telegram channel of the Naghdehall newspaper, his employer, alleging that Kermanshah’s governor tested positive with the COVID-19 virus, according to the association’s report.
According to the journalist association source, after he shared the article, the governor’s office filed a criminal defamation suit against Noori Ala and the judiciary ordered his arrest. CPJ could not determine whether charges have been formally filed against him.
The governor’s office has not confirmed or denied the news about the governor’s health, according to that person.
According to another report from the Tehran Journalists Association, on April 7, authorities convicted Amir Babaei, a freelance reporter from Kermanshah, of spreading propaganda and sentenced him to two months in prison after the governor’s office filed three lawsuits against him over his reporting.