LONDON: Human rights groups and media watchdogs have condemned the separate arrests of two journalists in Iran on vague charges.
The journalists are Reza Taleshian Jelodarzadeh, editor in chief of Tehran-based magazine Nour-e Azadi, and Mahmoud Mahmoudi, editor of the Kurdish Aigrin Roj Weekly.
Jelodarzadeh used Instagram to post a photo of his feet in shackles, said the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), adding that his location is unknown.
Mahmoudi was arrested at his home in the capital of Kurdistan province in western Iran, and was later transferred to a secret location, according to two human rights organizations.
“Iranian authorities must free … Jelodarzadeh immediately and unconditionally,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour.
“Iran’s continued jailing of journalists on vague charges is an outrageous form of censorship that must end.”
Mahmoudi was charged with contacting anti-regime channels. Following his arrest, he was denied contact with family and access to legal representation, human rights organizations have said. He was released on bail on Thursday.
Mahmoudi was part of a group that penned a letter in January demanding an end to the recent crackdown on civil, student and environmental activists in Iran’s Kurdistan province.
The CPJ earlier reported that journalists faced harassment by Tehran in 2019 after signing a letter condemning mass arrests of political protesters.