French media call on Iran to release journalist covering Mahsa Amini protests

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French media have called for the release of a journalist on assignment to cover protests in Iran for the Franco-German television channel Arte which reported his arrest.

Vahid Shamsoddinnezhad, an Iranian national residing in France, was arrested a month ago in Iranian Kurdistan, Arte reported this weekend.

He went there on assignment for the production company Keyi and the Arte press room to cover the protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, he added.

Amini died in custody on September 16 after being arrested in Tehran for an alleged violation of Iran’s strict dress rules for women.

Arte said Shamsoddinnezhad handed over an accreditation letter issued by Arte and details of his French press card to Iranian authorities on September 24.

He then carried out two telephone interviews and a television report for the journal d’Arte.

“He is currently being held in Tehran and under investigation,” Arte said.

Journalists’ union SNJ has called on the French government to secure the release of the young reporter, who graduated this year from a journalism school in Lille, northern France.

“He was just doing his job,” the union said.

The press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders said it was “fully mobilized” to secure his release, along with that of 43 other reporters it said were being held in Iran.

Iranian authorities said earlier on Tuesday they had released eight journalists detained during the protests.

On Sunday, more than 300 Iranian journalists and photojournalists signed a statement criticizing authorities for “arresting colleagues and stripping them of their civil rights after their detention”, according to local media.



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