Media coverage of protests against the throwing of acid and other violence against women in Isfahan and Tehran was met with resistance from government bodies, even as President Hassan Rohani called for swift action against those who throw acid.
The Kaleme opposition website reports that photojournalist Arya Jafari, who heads the ISNA photo department in Isfahan and has published several photos of people’s protests, was arrested at his home as his personal belongings were searched and confiscated.
Without any explanation, the Mehr News Agency removed a page of photo coverage of the demonstrations against acid throwing in Isfahan.
The Fars News Agency, which is linked to the Revolutionary Guards, referred to the reports by some media outlets as being “in line with foreign media.”
Female MP Shahla Mir Galobayat called acid throwing in Isfahan “the West’s new scenario” and pointed out that the denouncements come just as a bill about hijab enforcement is moving through Parliament.
A Tehran city councillor called on the judiciary to investigate media reports that connect acid throwing to “moral-enforcement bodies” and equated those reports with “the sedition of 2009.”
Iran’s Prosecutor General said any attempt to link acid throwing with hijab enforcement is “the work of anti-Revolutionaries.”
Meanwhile, President Rohani has assigned three ministries to investigate the throwing of acid on women, speeding up measures to bring the perpetrators to justice, and re-establishing security in Isfahan, a demand echoed by the temporary Friday Mass Imam of Tehran.