A street scene in Tehran, Iran August 2, 2023. (Majid Asgaripour/WANA via Reuters)

Iranian journalist Manijeh Moazen arrested

Washington, D.C., November 9, 2023—Iranian authorities must immediately release journalist Manijeh Moazen and cease jailing members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. 

On November 8, Moazen, a freelance journalist and translator, was arrested from her home in Iran’s capital, Tehran, and was taken to an undisclosed location, according to news reports and a source familiar with the case who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal. Authorities have not disclosed the reason for her arrest or any charges.

“Iranian authorities must release journalist Manijeh Moazen immediately and unconditionally, and cease detaining members of the press,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “The lack of transparency about Moazen’s arrest risks a chilling effect on newsgathering in Iran.”

According to the source, security agents raided Moazen’s house and confiscated personal belongings including her laptop, cellphone, and notebook.

Moazen recently reported for Shargh Daily, the economic weekly magazine Tejarat-e-Farda, and economic news website Ecoiran.com, all state-run. According to the source, Moazen’s latest articles were focused on Iranian women’s sports.

Amsterdam-based Iranian media outlet Radio Zamaneh reported that at least two other Iranian journalists, freelance environmental reporter Elahe Mousavi and Ehsan Bodaghi, a reporter with the state-run Faraz news website, were summoned to Tehran’s Revolutionary Court in recent days. Radio Zamaneh didn’t specify the reason behind the summons or their exact date.

Iran ranked as the world’s worst jailer of journalists when CPJ conducted its most recent census of imprisoned journalists worldwide on December 1, 2022.

Overall, Iranian authorities detained at least 95 journalists in the wake of nationwide protests in September 2022. Many have been released on bail while awaiting trial or summonses to serve multi-year sentences.

CPJ emailed Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York requesting comment on Moazen’s arrest but did not receive a reply.