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Journalist Niloofar Hamedi, who broke Mahsa Amini’s story, arrested by Iranian authorities, Twitter account suspended

Days before Hamedi's arrest, an Iranian photojournalist named Yalda Moaiery was arrested by the Iranian authorities during the anti-state protests while she was covering the agitated crowd on Hejab street in downtown Tehran.

On September 22, the woman journalist Niloofar Hamedi who broke the story of Mahsa Amini’s death, was reportedly arrested by the Iranian authorities. Mohammed Ali Kamfirouzi, the advocate representing Hamedi, informed about the arrest on social media. Hamedi works for Shargh newspaper.

In a tweet in Persian, Kamfirouzi said, “This morning, security agents raided the house of my client Niloofar Hamedi, journalist of Shargh newspaper, arrested her, searched her house, and confiscated her belongings. Any news about Niloofar Hamedi is published through me or her husband, Mohammad Hossein Ajarlo (Translated using Google Translate).” It is unclear what charges she would face.

Furthermore, her Twitter account was also suspended prior to her arrest. It is unclear if Twitter suspended the account following a legal request or because of reporting against the account on the platform.

The Twitter account of journalist Niloofar Hamedi was suspended by Twitter. (Source: Twitter)

Following her arrest, Iranian security forces commenced a crackdown against the demonstrators angered by the death of Amini across the country.

Photojournalist arrested during anti-state protests

Hamedi was not the first journalist to get arrested by the authorities linked to the case. Days before her arrest, an Iranian photojournalist named Yalda Moaiery was arrested by the Iranian authorities during the anti-state protests while she was covering the agitated crowd on Hejab street in downtown Tehran.

Her arrest was confirmed to Committed to Protect Journalists (CPJ) by her father, Gholamreza Moaiery, who told the organization that she was detained in Qarchak prison, a female-only detention facility in Varamin, Iran.

Following the two arrests, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator member Sharif Mansour said, “The Iranian authorities must understand that they cannot hide the nationwide protests against the government by imprisoning journalists. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Yalda Meiri and stop arbitrarily imprisoning members of the press at this critical moment for Iran.”

Death of Mahsa Amini

A 22-year-old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini, who fell into a coma after she was beaten by the ‘Morality Police’ for wearing ‘improper hijab’, died on Friday in Tehran. Iranian media reported that Amini died in hospital, quoting official sources.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mahsa Amini was declared brain dead, hours after she was arrested by the ‘Morality Police’ in Tehran for “improper hijab”, which means she had not fully covered her hair. She was arrested by the police and then beaten in the police van while being taken to a detention centre, dubbed as a ‘re-education class’ for not conforming to the country’s mandatory hijab rules.

According to the reports, the incident is said to have happened on September 13 when Amini, a native of Saghez, Iran, had travelled to Tehran for a pleasure trip. The woman was with her brother Kiarash at the entrance to the Shahid Haghani Expressway when the ‘Morality Police’ arrived and arrested Amini for a one-hour ‘re-education class’.

Following her death, there have been protests in Iran. Videos of women surfaced where they cut off their hair and burn hijab as a mark of protest against the compulsory hijab in Iran.

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