Ali Motahari

Conservative Iranian MP Ali Motahari has slammed the recent wave of journalist arrests for “depriving reporters of their mental and professional peace.”

Motahari, who is a member of Parliament’s press supervisory committee, told the Shargh newspaper: “We will peruse the issue of journalist arrests both through Parliament and the Press Supervisory Board.”

Motahari said on Thursday that creating insecurity in the activities of the press is “not in the interest of the country.” He added that the authorities should only have issued summonses to the journalists rather than arresting them at their homes and in the workplace.

Since last Saturday, 17 journalists have been arrested by Iranian authorities, and some officials have announced that their charges are linked to conspiracies with foreign media and “anti-Revolutionaries.”

Motahari insisted that any charges must be proven in trial with appropriate evidence and that the journalists cannot be deemed guilty before having their day in court.