Anisa Jafari-Mehr

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Iranian-Kurdish writer Anisa Jafari-Mehr was arrested on November 23, 2020 and is being held in an undisclosed location. No charges have been made public in her case. 

Jafari-Mehr is literary and arts critic at J, a Germany-based Kurdish-language magazine, according to reports by the exile-run outlets Human Rights Activists News Agency and IranWire.

On November 23, security agents raided Jafari-Mehr’s home the city of Eslamabad-e-Gharb, in Kermanshah province, without a warrant, arrested her, and confiscated her laptop, phone, and books, according to those reports and the Iraqi-Kurdistan based Kurdistan Press Agency.

Authorities have not stated any reason for Jafari-Mehr’s arrest, and have not disclosed where she is being held, according to those reports.

One of Jafari-Mehr’s relatives, who spoke to IranWire on the condition of anonymity, said they believed that the arrest was prompted by Jafari-Mehr’s work with J, saying that authorities were opposed to efforts to revive Kurdish language and arts. 

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps agents previously arrested Jafari-Mehr and raided her home amid a wider crackdown on Kurdish cultural activists on December 17, 2019, and released her after 12 hours, according to news reports.

CPJ emailed Alireza Miryousefi, the head of media office at Iran’s Mission to the United Nations, on November 30 for comment on the cases of imprisoned Iranian journalists including Anisa Jafari-Mehr, but did not receive any response.