Iranian security forces arrested Iranian journalist Alireza Khoshbakht and his wife, journalist Zahra Tohidi, on September 20, 2022, in Tehran.
Khoshbakht is a freelance reporter who covers politics and human rights for Iranian news outlets including Rimag, a state-run science and politics news website. In the days before his arrest he tweeted about protests following the September 16 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who was in morality police custody for allegedly violating the country’s conservative dress law. Khoshbakht’s Twitter account has since been suspended.
A source familiar with the case who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal said that security forces arrested Khoshbakht, Tohidi, and Tohidi’s sister, Hoda Tohidi, a political activist, from the couple’s home in Tehran. Khoshbakht’s mother tweeted about his arrest in late October, saying she had been prevented from contacting him.
CPJ was unable to determine where the journalist is held, the status of his health in prison, or whether he is facing charges.
Authorities arrested dozens of journalists in Iran in relation to their coverage of the demonstrations after Amini’s death. Several of them were later released on bail.
CPJ emailed Iran’s mission to the United Nations in late 2022 for comment on the cases of imprisoned Iranian journalists but received no response.