Intelligence agents of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrested Niloofar Hamedi, a reporter for the Tehran-based semi-reformist Shargh Daily, on September 22, 2022 after she reported on the September 16 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who was in morality police custody for allegedly violating Iran’s conservative dress law.
Hamedi was among the first journalists to report on Amini’s hospitalization, according to a report by the exile-run news website IranWire. Hamedi covers human rights and politics.
Her lawyer, Mohammad-Ali Kamfirouzi, tweeted on September 22 that security forces raided Hamedi’s house early in the morning and confiscated some of her personal devices before arresting her.
In a September 25 tweet, the lawyer said that Hamedi called her husband and said that she is in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, where she has been interrogated. CPJ is unable to determine the status of the journalist’s health in prison.
In an October 28 statement, Iranian authorities accused Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, another imprisoned Iranian journalist who helped break the story of Amini’s death, of being spies for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and of being the “primary sources of news for foreign media.” Hamedi and Mohammadi face the death penalty if formally charged and convicted of espionage.
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.