Iranian security forces arrested Mehdi Amirpour on November 27, 2022.
Amirpour is a freelance sports journalist who contributes to the state-run semi-reformist Shargh Daily newspaper, to the state-run Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), and to “90,” a TV program about soccer on the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting channel; up until recently he was the head of the sports desk at the state-run Saazandegi newspaper, said a source familiar with the case who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity citing fear of reprisal.
He used Twitter to comment on protests following the September 16 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, after morality police arrested her for allegedly violating the country’s conservative dress law. His Twitter account has since been suspended.
He was arrested at 2 a.m. after security forces raided his Tehran home, confiscating his phone, laptop, and personal notebooks, according to a tweet from his wife and a report in exile-run news site Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). The report said he contacted his family a few hours later and said he was detained in Evin Prison.
CPJ is unable to determine what, if any, charges the journalist faces or the status of his health in prison.
Authorities arrested dozens of journalists as the protests over Amini’s death spread across the country. Several 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.