German authorities have expressed “outrage” over last week’s arrest of Iranian sports photojournalist Maryam Majd, who was detained by Iranian authorities one day before she was supposed to travel to Germany to cover the Women’s World Cup of Soccer.
Markus Loening, the German Human Rights Commissioner, said Majd’s arrest is linked to the work she has done to defend women’s right to participate in sports as well as Iran’s general oppression of women’s rights activists.
Majd, 25, had been invited to collaborate with Petra Landers, a former German national soccer player, on a book about women soccer players. She would have worked on the book while covering the World Cup.
Loening also mentioned the recent arrest of Mahnaz Mohammadi, the Iranian filmmaker and women’s rights activist, and the recent disappearance of Maryam Bahram, Mansoureh Behkish and Zahra Yazdani. The German rights commissioner expressed his concern for all of these woman, while calling for the release of Majd and all detained women activists.
Loening added that Majd’s arrest is “a further, sad example of the intimidation and persecution of women’s rights activists by the Iranian regime.”
The Kaleme opposition website reported last week that Majd has been taken to Ward 2A of Evin Prison, the section controlled by the Revolutionary Guards.
Majd was a member of the Campaign for Women to Enter Sports and worked with the now-banned monthly magazine Women.