Iranian security forces have arrested a journalist after she published an interview with the father of Mahsa Amini, whose death has sparked seven weeks of anti-regime protests, a rights group said Friday.
Nazila Maroufian, a Tehran-based journalist from Amini’s hometown of Saqez in Kurdistan province, was detained on Sunday, the Norway-based Hengaw rights group said.
She was arrested at the house of one of her relatives in Tehran and was transferred to Evin prison in the capital, it added, citing a telephone call she had made to her family.
Maroufian, who works for the Ruydad 24 news site, had published an interview with Amini’s father Amjad on the Mostaghel Online news site on October 19.
“I neither intend to commit suicide nor have any underlying disease,” she commented wryly as she posted a link to the article, alluding to the dangers faced by journalists in Iran covering the story.
She also said that she was unable to publish the interview for days, and that her family was threatened.
Mostaghel has since taken down the piece but a cached version shows that the father denied his daughter had any underlying health condition.
Amini’s family contend that she was dealt a fatal blow in police custody. The Iranian authorities dispute this but the anger over her death triggered the protest wave.
Amjad Amini said he had been told by a health official he would write in the final report “whatever I like, it’s none of your business”.
The headline of the interview read, “Mahsa Amini’s father: ‘They are lying!'”
The two journalists in Iran who helped bring the story of Amini to the world’s attention have already been arrested and have spent the last month in Evin prison.
Niloufar Hamedi reported for Iran’s Shargh newspaper from the hospital where Amini languished in a coma for three days before she died. The journalist was arrested on September 20, her family said.
Elahe Mohammadi, a reporter for the Ham Mihan newspaper, went to Saqez to report on Amini’s funeral, which turned into one of the first protest actions. She was detained on September 29.
According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 54 journalists have been arrested in the crackdown, with a dozen confirmed released on bail so far.