The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is urging Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release a financial reporter who was reportedly arrested this week on security charges, saying that the jailing of journalists for doing their jobs is “an outrageous form of censorship that must end.”
The New-York-based media freedom watchdog made the call in a statement on September 1 after Amir-Abbas Azarmvand, who works for the state run Iranian economic newspaper SMT, was arrested at his parents’ home in Tehran by security agents of the Intelligence Ministry, according to exile-run outlets.
Azarmvand was presented with an arrest warrant citing recent critical reporting for SMT on the “difficult economic situation of union workers and some of the new economic decisions by the government,” IranWire reported, quoting a colleague of the journalist who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the fear of reprisal.
According to the source, Azarmvand was charged with “spreading propaganda against the system” and transferred to Evin prison, a primary site for political detainees.
The report said security agents also confiscated Azarmvand’s laptop, cellphone, and some books.
IranWire and the U.S.-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) said Azarmvand had also been arrested in the fall of 2018 and 2020 for his journalistic work, but provided no further details.