Washington, D.C., April 17, 2023—Iranian authorities should immediately release journalist Saeed Seif-Ali and drop any charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday.
On April 11, authorities summoned Seif-Ali, editor-in-chief of the state-run news website Didbaniran.ir, and then arrested him and took him to an undisclosed location, according to news reports.
Seif-Ali was previously detained on January 7, 2023, and was released on bail after eight days, according to CPJ documentation and those news reports. CPJ was unable to immediately determine where Seif-Ali is being held or whether any charges have been filed against him.
“Iranian authorities must drop any charges filed against journalist Saeed Seif-Ali and should free him immediately and unconditionally,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Authorities must let members of the press do their work without fear that they will be subject to arbitrary arrest and detention.”
The journalist’s wife Asal Ismaeilzadeh was quoted in those reports saying that Seif-Ali was summoned to court on April 11 to meet with a judge about that previous arrest.
Iranian authorities have arrested at least 95 journalists, including Seif-Ali, since September 2022, when mass protests erupted across the country following the death in morality-police custody of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini.
Didbaniran.ir covered those protests and journalists’ arrests at the time.
CPJ emailed Iran’s mission to the United Nations for comment but did not receive any response