authorities arrested a prominent journalist after she uncovered that a
minister, who recently retired, was involved in a corruption case, activists on Telegram
Iranian activists said on Tuesday that Iran's Ministry of Intelligence arrested Saba Azarpeik, a journalist in Iran's reformist Etemad newspaper, one day after revealing a document proving the corruption of former Iranian Minister of Industry Mohammad Shariatmadari, who currently serves as Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare.
According to the document published by the detained Iranian journalist, Tehran's intelligence service secretly addressed the parliament about the involvement of Shariatmadari in a suspicious deal early this year to import a large quantity of expensive cars, estimated at 6,000.
Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, the spokesman for Iran's judiciary, announced in August that five officials of the Ministry of Industry, including a director-general and his deputy, were arrested for being involved in the case.
Last Tuesday, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression David Kaye criticized Iran's repressive crackdown on the media in his report on repression and curtailing freedom of expression, especially with its harassment, imprisonment, torture and killing of journalists.
"Iran continues to crack down on journalists and the media, including harassment, arbitrary detention, travel bans, and surveillance of intelligence agents of individuals and their families," he said in his report to the UN.
Human rights organization’s reported last year that about 200 correspondents and journalists were summoned and interrogated by the security services and 32 were sentenced to long prison sentences of up to 16 years during the first term of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The annual report of Reporters Without Borders on freedom of the press and protection of journalists' rights around the world stated that Iran is one of the top five countries with the highest number of imprisoned journalists in the world.