Iranian journalist Kayvan Samimi was recently arrested and is being held in an undisclosed location. (Screenshot: Iran International/YouTube)

Journalist Kayvan Samimi rearrested in Iran, held in undisclosed location

Washington, D.C., April 24, 2023—Iranian authorities should immediately release journalist Kayvan Samimi, drop any charges against him, and release all members of the press held for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday.

On April 20, authorities in Tehran arrested Samimi, the editor-in-chief of the state-run Iran-e Farda magazine, and took him to an undisclosed location, according to news reports. Samimi was due to speak on April 21 on a panel organized by a group of Iranian journalists and university professors, according to those reports and a person familiar with the situation who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, for fear of government reprisal.

Authorities said he was arrested for having “connections with hostile anti-state groups in exile” but did not specify whether he had been formally charged. CPJ was unable to determine where Samimi is being held.

“Iranian authorities must immediately release journalist Kayvan Samimi and drop any charges filed against him for his work,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Members of the press must be allowed to live without constant fear that they will be harassed and detained.”

Samimi, 74, was previously detained on December 7, 2020, to serve a three-year sentence; he was released on January 26, 2023, according to CPJ research and news reports.

Iranian authorities have arrested at least 95 other journalists since mass protests erupted across the country following the death in morality-police custody of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini.

CPJ emailed Iran’s mission to the United Nations for comment but did not receive any response.