Iranian journalist Mohammad-Bagher Moradi disappeared in Ankara, Turkey, on May 30, 2022. He has been held in prison in Iran since November 2022.
Moradi is a freelance reporter covering news from Iran for several exiled-based news websites including the Telegram channel Amad News, according to a source familiar with his case who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.
Moradi, who was in exile in Ankara, left home to buy bread on May 30 and never returned, according to exiled-based TV channel Iran International.
Moradi’s father, Mohsen Moradi told Iran International that “my son was working as an opposition journalist in Iran. Iranian intelligence was after him.” After his May disappearance, his family filed a case at the Turkish public prosecutor’s office, claiming that Moradi “was kidnapped by Iranian Intelligence agents.”
Moradi’s family lawyer in Turkey, Salih Efe, told U.S. government-funded, Persian-language Radio Farda that the journalist was detained in Turkey for five months and was extradited to Iran by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) agents.
In a phone call with CPJ, Efe said he believed that Turkish intelligence, MIT, first held Moradi and abused him, without providing further details.
According to Radio Farda, Moradi contacted his family by phone on November 4, confirming his arrest by IRGC forces and his detention in Iran. He was able to place two more calls to his family.
Efe did not provide CPJ with any information on the potential charges facing the journalist or the condition of the journalist’s health. He said the journalist is held in Tehran’s Evin Prison.
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. CPJ also emailed the press office of the Turkish interior ministry, which oversees the police and the immigration authority, and the president’s office, which oversees the MIT, but did not receive a response.