Police walk on a street in Tehran, Iran in April 2023. Security forces arrested reporter Sajjad Shahrabi after raiding his father's house in Tehran, and confiscating his and his family’s personal and electronic items on May 3, 2023. (West Asia News Agency via Reuters/Majid Asgaripour)

Iranian radio journalist Sajjad Shahrabi arrested, transferred to prison

Washington, D.C., May 8, 2023—Iranian authorities should immediately release radio journalist Sajjad Shahrabi and drop any charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday.

On May 3, security forces arrested Shahrabi, a reporter and radio host for the state-owned outlet Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), after raiding his father’s house in the capital, Tehran, and confiscating his and his family’s personal and electronic items, including the journalist’s computer and notebook, according to news reports.

Shahrabi is currently detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison. CPJ was unable to determine why he was arrested or whether he had been formally charged.

“Iranian authorities must free journalist Sajjad Shahrabi immediately and unconditionally and cease the practice of arbitrarily locking up members of the press,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna, in New York. “Shahrabi’s detention shows, shamefully, that authorities do not find it necessary to disclose even a minimum of details about why a reporter has been arrested.”

He also hosts a weekly satirical sports program called “Toop/ball” for the state-run Radiojavan.ir.

Since mid-April, Iran authorities have arrested at least three other journalists. CPJ emailed Iran’s mission to the United Nations for comment but did not receive any reply.