Last updated: 17 July, 2011

Iran arrests second female reporter

Iran has arrested another female reporter wanting to cover the women’s football World Cup in Germany, a press report said on Sunday, saying she was being held in Tehran’s notorious Evin jail.

Pegah Ahangarani, 27, who is also an actress and film-maker and said to be a supporter of the Iranian opposition movement, was arrested earlier this month in her flat and has not been seen since, the Spiegel weekly said.

Ahangarani was intending to cover the women’s World Cup, which was due to wrap up on Sunday, for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Spiegel said.

Deutsche Welle said that Ahangarani was 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.

“Obviously with the arrest of Pegah Ahangarani, Tehran wants not only to prevent reporting of women’s football, but first and foremost, cooperation with Germany’s international service,” Deutsche Welle said.

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

Another Iranian reporter accredited to cover the tournament, Maryam Majd, was arrested on June 26, according to the German government’s top human rights official Markus Loening, who said Berlin was “outraged”.