LONDON: Iranian intelligence and security agents on Thursday arrested financial reporter Amir-Abbas Azarmvand on security charges.
Azarmvand, who was at his parents’ house in Tehran when the arrest took place, works for the state-run Iranian economic newspaper SMT and has been charged with “spreading propaganda against the system.”
The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the arrest and urged Iranian authorities to immediately release him, drop all charges, and allow him to work freely in the country.
A colleague of Azarmvand, who wished to remain anonymous, said the agents had presented the writer with an arrest warrant citing recent critical reporting for SMT on the economic situation of union workers.
The security agents reportedly searched Azarmvand’s house and confiscated his laptop, cellphone, and a number of books.
Coordinator for the CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program, Sherif Mansour, said: “Iranian authorities must free financial reporter Amir-Abbas Azarmvand immediately and unconditionally. Iran’s continued jailing of journalists for doing their jobs is an outrageous form of censorship that must end.”
According to the international freedom of information organization, Reporters Without Borders, Iran ranked 174 out of 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index.
Since the 1979 revolution, at least 860 journalists and citizen-journalists have been prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned, and in some cases executed by the Iranian regime.