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Iran arrests another journalist for highlighting government corruption

Masoud Kazemi’s arrest was first reported by his fiancée Shima Tadrisi, who tweeted on Monday that neighbours have seen several people entering the couple’s home that morning and taking Kazemi away.

She wrote: “We do not know which entity arrested him or the reason for the arrest.”
Tadrisi explained that laptop computers, hard disks, and flash drives had also been confiscated from the house.

The arrest of Kazemi, a former reporter for Iran’s Shargh daily newspaper, was also confirmed on Twitter by Sobhan Hassanvand, a friend and former colleague of Kazemi.
He wrote: “My friend & colleague Masoud Kazemi @masoudkazemi81 has been arrested in his house this morning in Tehran, no news about his whereabouts [or] charges. A few days ago he told us his job as a journalist is the first priority of his life alongside his son #JournalismIsNotACrime.”

Hassanvand also attached a screenshot of Kazemi’s Twitter profile, which was tagged, to the tweet, to show Kazemi’s last tweets before being arrested.

In that final tweet, Kazemi urged his followers to “take a look at this thread to become familiar with a small part of systematic corruption, and the role of fathers and their children in these corruption cases”. His account has since been suspended.

Government corruption is a hot topic in Iran right now, frequently driving many Iranians into the streets to take part in nationwide protests against the Iranian Regime. These protests began last December and show no sign of letting up until the Regime falls.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Kazemi often posted tweets criticizing the current situation in Iran and the policies of different factions within the Regime.

On Tuesday, RSF posted an article which said that Iranian authorities had detained several other Iranian journalists since September, including Saba Azarpeyk, a former reporter with the pro-reformist daily Etemad, and Ejlal Qawami, Iranian Kurdish freelance journalist. The article explained that prior to their arrests, Azarpeyk had published an article accusing newly appointed Labor Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari of corruption and Qawami had been writing about the situation of prisoners of conscience in Iran’s Kurdistan province.

Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran/Afghanistan desk, said: “We urge the regime to stop suppressing the freedom to inform. Obstructing press freedom and arresting journalists do not help to combat corruption.”

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