IRAN: Iran Confirms Arrest of Woman Reporter

Monday, July 18, 2011
The News
Western Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

Tehran's prosecution service on Monday confirmed the arrest of Pagah Ahangarani, a reporter, actress and film-maker who had wanted to cover the women's football World Cup in Germany, ISNA news agency reported.

"Pagah Ahangarani was arrested a week ago and she is being investigated," ISNA quoted an informed judicial source in Tehran's prosecution office as saying, without elaborating.

Ahangarani, 27, was arrested in her flat and was being held in Tehran's notorious Evin jail, Germany's Spiegel weekly reported on Sunday. She supported former prime minister turned opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's candidacy in Iran's June 2009 presidential election which resulted in the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term.

Ahangarani was intending to cover the women's World Cup, which wrapped up on Sunday, for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Spiegel added.

Deutsche Welle said that Ahangarani had been due to travel to Germany for the tournament and write an Internet blog about it.

According to sources close to Ahangarani cited by Deutsche Welle's Persian language service, she was summoned to the interior ministry the day before she was due to travel and threatened with arrest if she tried to leave the country.

As a result of this and further "threats," Ahangarani decided not to attempt to travel to Germany, and on July 14 it was confirmed that she had been arrested four days earlier, Deutsche Welle said.

Ahangarani has written a blog about the Berlin Film Festival, the Berlinale, in the past and last year travelled to Bonn in western Germany for a blogs awards ceremony, Deutsche Welle said. She also makes documentaries.