Iran on August 25 has arrested a photojournalist while he was photographing camps housing Afghan refugees, according to reports by the Iranian semi-official news website Ensafnews and the US-based Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).
Majid Saeedi is a photographer for the state-run newspaper Shargh Daily.
He “was arrested due to taking photos of forbidden border regions,” a source close to the matter told Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on condition of anonymity due to fear of government reprisal.
However, according to CPJ’s source, the journalist had permission from authorities to cover the refugee camps. No charges against him have been disclosed.
“Iranian authorities must free photojournalist Majid Saeedi immediately and unconditionally, and let him do his job documenting the lives of Afghan refugees in Iran,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “Journalists must be able to cover such events of national and international interest without fear that they will be arbitrarily detained.”
In its report published on CPJ’s website on September 13, the organization “emailed Alireza Miryousefi, the head of the media office of Iran’s mission to the United Nations, for comment on Saeedi and the unnamed journalist, but did not receive any reply. CPJ also emailed Shargh Daily for comment but did not receive any immediate response.”