New details have been reported regarding the arrest of more than a dozen journalists in Tehran in the last few days, with the mother of one of the detainees calling the arrest of her daughter “illegal.”
The mother of Saba Azarpeyk, a journalist arrested in Tehran, reported that her son was assaulted when officials arrived at the family home to arrest her daughter.
The Kaleme website quotes the parent of the detained journalist saying: “15 to 20 minutes after Saba left the house, someone knocked on the door, I asked who it was and I heard Saba saying, ‘Mum don’t open the door, they do not have a warrant.’ After some very tense moments, she was taken down to the car.”
She added: “Then my son arrived, and one of the officials that was standing behind the door slapped him on the face several times.”
She adds that she ran to her daughter as she was being taken away and urged her to remain strong.
The mother goes on to add that her daughter has done nothing illegal and her arrest was carried out without any documents.
Iranian Culture Minister Mohammad Hosseiny, who had claimed to have no knowledge of the reason for the recent arrests, said today: “We have been informed that the charges against these journalists are not media related; some of them have not been actually arrested but were only summoned to offer some explanations.”
He added: “Some people would gather information and send it to foreign media, and sometimes these people are used to create differences between officials and, sometimes knowingly or unknowingly, they promote disillusionment in the country.”
Iran’s Intelligence Minster has announced that details of the recent arrests will soon be released.
Several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, have decried the arrest of these journalists.