Security forces arrested Iraj Jamshidi on the morning of May 8, 2017, as he was leaving his home in Tehran to go to his office. The journalist’s son told Asia News, a Tehran-based financial daily for which Jamshidi works, that agents threw his father to the ground when they arrested him.
Jamshidi was arrested 10 days before the 2017 Iranian presidential election, according to news reports. Asia News is generally supportive of the administration of Hassan Rouhani. Prior to his arrest, the daily’s front-page headline featured a quote from Rouhani, in which the president criticized his opponent, Ebrahim Raisi, for being associated with imprisonment and execution during his judicial tenure.
As of late 2017, the daily had not publicly commented about the arrest. However, in a piece that Jamshidi’s son published in Asia News, he described his father’s arrest as illegal.
As of late 2017, CPJ was unable to determine the reason for the journalist’s arrest and whether he had been charged. CPJ was unable to find contact details for the journalist’s lawyer.
In 2003, authorities sentenced Jamshidi to a one-year sentence and ordered his newspaper to be shuttered temporarily after the paper published a photograph of a smiling Maryam Rajavi, leader of the foreign-based opposition group the People’s Mujahadeen of Iran, according to CPJ’s 2003 prison census. Acknowledging the group in Iran is considered taboo, and likenesses of the group’s leaders are often censored.