Journalist and Photographer Assal Esmaeilzadeh Behind Bars
Journalist and Photographer Assal Esmaeilzadeh Behind Bars
30 June 2017 by Editor

Journalist and photographer Assal Esmaeilzadeh was arrested without charge on June 20.

The arrest comes amid a renewed crackdown on citizen journalism and online activism, according to press freedom group Reporters sans Frontieres

The Tehran prosecutor’s office for culture and media also questioned Esmaeilzadeh’s husband, Saed Seif, who tweeted: “My wife was arrested to put pressure on me, because they are asking me to make a statement against President Hassan Rouhani and to publish false information against ministers in his government.” Seif is the editor of the Dideban e Iran news website.

Seif’s comment suggests that he and Esmaeilzadeh have been caught up in the long-running battle between the administration of President Hassan Rouhani and more conservative figures in Iran, including the Revolutionary Guards and ultra-conservative clerics. In March 2017, in the run up to the presidential election, the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Unit arrested several channel administrators for the online messaging service Telegram. Those arrested managed pro-Rouhani channels. 

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