Iran arrests at least 23 journalists as protest crackdown continues

Iranian protesters in Tehran on September 21, 2022. (AFP)

CPJ has learned from reliable sources inside Iran that at least 23 journalists were arrested this week as clashes between security forces and protesters over the death in morality-police custody of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, left dozens dead. 

Details of the arrests are sparse following a near-total internet blackout and reports of major disruptions to phone networks and social media networks, but include prominent Iranian photojournalists Yalda Moaiery and Ahmadreza Halabisaz.

“Iranian authorities should be ashamed of themselves for orchestrating this brutal crackdown. They have proved their failure to grasp that suppressing dissenting voices only compounds dissent,” CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator Sherif Mansour said. “Authorities must stop arresting those covering the protests and immediately release those in custody.” 

Afghanistan’s media crisis

TOLONews presenters work with their faces covered in Kabul on May 22, 2022. (Reuters/Ali Khara)

The Taliban’s August 2021 takeback of power in Afghanistan has devastated the vibrant media landscape that developed after the U.S.-led invasion 20 years earlier. Between censorship, arrests, assaults, restrictions on women journalists, the flight of experienced reporters, and the country’s declining economy, Afghan media are struggling to survive.

Yet in spite of these challenges, a CPJ special report found glimmers of hope amid the difficulties. Afghan journalists are finding ways to keep covering the news–either from inside the country or from their places of exile.

Videos: One year later | Journalists in exile | Women journalists under pressure | Panel discussion on Afghanistan’s media crisis

Russia-Ukraine war

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An AFP journalist runs as smoke rises behind after a bombardment in Bakhmut, Eastern Ukraine, on July 31, 2022. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Safety advice for journalists covering war and related unrest

Scroll to see complete list

Deaths in Ukraine

Motive confirmed (12)

Ihor Hudenko, Freelance, killed in Kharkiv on February 26
Yevhenii Sakun, LIVE, killed in Kyiv on March 1
Viktor Dedov, Sigma-TV, killed in Mariupol on March 11
Oksana Haidar, Freelance, killed in Shevchenkove around March 11 – April 7
Brent Renaud, Time, killed in Irpin on March 13
Maks Levin,, body found April 1 near Huta-Mezhyhirska, missing on March 13
Pierre Zakrzewski, Fox News, killed in Horenka on March 14
Oleksandra Kuvshynova, Fox News, killed in Horenka on March 14
Oksana Baulina, The Insider, killed in Kyiv on March 23
Mantas Kvedaravicius, Freelance, killed in Mariupol on April 2
Vira Hyrych, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, killed in Kyiv on April 28
Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, BFMTV, killed in Lysychansk on May 30

Motive unconfirmed (3)

Zoreslav Zamoysky, Freelance, killed in Bucha around March 4 – April 12
Roman Nezhyborets, Dytynets, killed in Yahidne around March 5-9
Yevhenii Bal, Freelance, killed in Manhush on April 2

Safety Resources

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Journalist Ayub Ali Warty was recently detained and charged with defamation in Iraqi Kurdistan. (Photo: Ayub Ali Warty)

CPJ’s International Press Freedom Awards

2022 IPFA awardees (clockwise from left, with image credits): Niyaz Abdullah (Elyaas Ehsas); Abraham Jiménez Enoa (Núria López Torres); Pham Doan Trang (Paul Mooney); Sevgil Musaieva (Ukrainska Pravda)

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Journalists Attacked

Alaa Abdelfattah



Alaa Abdelfattah, a prominent blogger and activist who has written about politics and human rights violations for numerous outlets, was re-arrested in September 2019, a few months after his conditional release from prison. He was first arrested in 2014. Authorities accuse him of supporting a banned group and spreading false news. 

Amid the unprecedented public health threat posed by COVID-19, freedom for imprisoned journalists has never been more urgent.

The Committee to Protect Journalists promotes press freedom worldwide.

We defend the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

journalists killed in 2022 (motive confirmed)
imprisoned in 2021
missing globally