On November 3, 2015, local media outlets with close ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reported that five local journalists had been arrested for being part of an “infiltration network” with links to Western countries. The news website Rah-e Dana quoted an unspecified source in identifying one of the journalists as Ehsan Mazandarani.
Mazandarani, reporter and publisher of the newspaper Farhikhtegan, was arrested at his home. An unidentified reporter at Farhikhtegan, in an interview with ICHRI, speculated that Mazandarani was arrested because of a post on his Instagram page. On October 31, 2015, Mazandarani published a photo of the cover story of Vatan-e Emrooz newspaper, called “Cracking the Mystery of an Armed Quarrel in Yaser,” about a disagreement between the son of a former warden of Evin Prison and a bodyguard for the former Iranian president. Mazandarani challenged Vatan-e-Emrooz’s story in his Instagram post and said Ehsan Lajavardi, the son of the warden, was to blame for the incident.
Ehsan Mazandarni was also arrested in 2009, following Iran’s disputed presidential election. At the time, he was working for the reformist Etemad newspaper. Mazandarani was released three weeks later after posting bond. While the charges against him were never revealed, at the time, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence announced most arrested journalists were accused of “connection with foreigners.”
Iranian officials have not publicly disclosed Mazandarani’s health status, location, or any charges against him.