Iman Behpasand

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Iranian security forces arrested Iman Behpasand, a freelance columnist and commentator who reports on women’s issues, on September 22, 2022. He is held in Evin Prison. 

Behpasand writes for local newspaper and magazines in Tehran, including independent news and commentary site Meidaan

According to a source familiar with the case who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal, in the days leading up to Behpasand’s arrest the journalist was covering protests in Tehran against the September 16 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini who was taken into morality police custody for allegedly violating the country’s conservative dress law.

The source said security forces raided Behpasand’s home in the early morning hours of September 22, confiscated his personal electronic devices, arrested the journalist, and took him to an undisclosed location. 

According to the source, Behpasand was able to make a very brief call to his family the next day, September 23, and told them that he was detained in Evin Prison on unspecified charges. 

CPJ has been unable to determine the status of the journalist’s health in prison. 

Authorities arrested dozens of journalists as the protests over Amini’s death spread across the country. 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.