LONDON: The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the arrest of Arab Iranian photojournalist Rahil Mousavi, urging Iranian authorities to drop all charges and immediately release her.
Iranian security forces, affiliated with the intelligence ministry, arrested Mousavi in the city of Khorramshahr, located in the predominantly Arab province of Khuzestan, and took her to an undisclosed location.
“Iranian authorities must free photojournalist Rahil Mousavi immediately and unconditionally, and let her do her job documenting the lives of Arab minorities in Iran,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour.
“Journalists must be able to work without the fear that they will be arbitrarily detained.”
Authorities have reportedly not specified the reason behind Mousavi’s arrest or disclosed any of the charges leveled against her.
Mousavi is a freelance photojournalist who has contributed photos to UNICEF, the International Federation of Photographic Art and the New York-based Middle East Images photo agency.
Iranian authorities have Mousavi on previous occasions. In 2016, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps detained her while she covered a street protest in Khorramshahr.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Iran ranks 174 out of 180 countries on the 2021 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.