Iranian dissident journalist rearrested 3 months after release, family says

Activist Keyvan Samimi previously served a 2-year prison stint for ‘plotting against national security’

Screen capture from video of Iranian journalist Keyvan Samimi, 2019. (YouTube. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of Iranian journalist Keyvan Samimi, 2019. (YouTube. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

TEHRAN, IRAN — A dissident Iranian journalist has been arrested again, barely three months after his release from prison following two years of incarceration, his family said on Tuesday.

Keyvan Samimi, known for his activism, was arrested on Thursday, a family member told AFP.

“We still have no further information on the [security] service responsible for his arrest or his whereabouts,” they added.

The 74-year-old was released from Semnan prison in January after being sentenced to three years in jail for “plotting against national security” in December 2020.

Since his release, he is known to have met activists and other political figures, including reformist former president Mohammad Khatami.

In January, Samimi’s family said he also faced a separate case in which he was accused of “association against the security of the country.” They did not elaborate.

In February 2022, Samimi was provisionally released from prison and returned home due to health issues but was re-incarcerated in May after being suspected of engaging in political activities.

In December, Samimi sent a message from his cell in support of the protest movement that shook Iran following the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Iranian Kurd died in the custody of the morality police in Tehran after her arrest for an alleged breach of the Islamic Republic’s dress code for women.

A former editor of the now-banned intellectual magazine Iran-e Farda (Iran Tomorrow), Samimi has been imprisoned several times, before and after Iran’s 1979 revolution.

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