Zahra Tohidi

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Iranian security forces arrested Iranian journalist Zahra Tohidi alongside her husband journalist Alireza Khoshbakht on September 20, 2022. 

Tohidi is a freelance reporter covering politics and human rights for Iranian news websites and newspapers including Magiran, semi-independent investigative news website. She also writes commentary pieces on Iranian politics. 

In the days leading up to her arrest she commented on Twitter about protests following the September 16 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police for allegedly violating the country’s conservative dress law. The journalist’s Twitter account appears to have been deleted after her arrest. 

Tohidi was arrested alongside her husband and her sister Hoda Tohidi, a political activist, from the couple’s home in Tehran, according to multiple sources who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal. She was able to contact her family once, briefly. 

CPJ is unable to determine where the journalist is held, the status of her health, or whether she is facing charges. 

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.