Iran arrested four journalists from the Isna news agency after they reported the acid attacks against women in Isfahan. Isna was one of the first to reach out to the attacked women. The reports caused international outrage.
The four journalists are not named. Police arrested and released “Zahra Mohammadi, the head of Isna’s office in Isfahan, and Sanam Farsi, its social affairs editor.” Isna’s photographer Arya Jafari was also arrested. He photographed a protest in Isfahan. AFP and Getty Images quickly picked up these pictures. It did not take long for them to go viral around the world.
“This case deals with everything Iranian hardliners can’t stand: critical media coverage, street protests, women’s rights and government accountability,” said Jason Stern from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). “So they have turned yet again to their tired practice of arresting journalists in a failed attempt to prevent Iranians and the world from knowing what is really happening in Isfahan. All of the arrested journalists should be released immediately.”
Authorities arrested four men in connection with the acid attacks. However, authorities were not pleased Isna implied the men attacked these women because they wore “bad hijabs.” Iran’s law states a woman must “wear loose clothing and a hijab that covers both the head and neck.” The bad hijabs “hardly covers the hair and tight clothing or coats reaching mid-thigh.”
Nasser Jowrkesh’s daughter Soheila is one of the attacked women.
“The attack caused extensive acid burns on her face, forehead, both hands and legs,” she told BBC Persian. “She has lost her complete eyesight on her right eye. Regarding her left eye an ophthalmologist and surgeon in Labbafi Nejad hospital believes that there is a narrow hope to save some 25-30% of her eyesight.”