Iran reporter defiant after latest jail release

Iran reporter defiant after latest jail release
Nazila Maroufian was released from Evin prison on Sunday after more than a month behind bars. After her release, she posted a defiant photo of herself on social media without a headscarf.
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Nazila Maroufian flashing the victory sign upon her release from Tehran's Evin prison.(Photo by ALEX MITA/AFP via Getty Images)

An Iranian journalist said Thursday she had no regrets over posting a picture of herself without a headscarf in defiance of Iran's dress laws, sharing a similar image following her latest release from jail.

Nazila Maroufian last year interviewed the father of the young Iranian woman Mahsa Amini whose death in police custody sparked months of protests.

She walked out of Tehran's Evin prison on Sunday after more than a month behind bars, posting on social media a picture of herself without a headscarf and the slogan "Don't accept slavery, you deserve the best!".

She was promptly detained again and moved outside of Tehran to Qarchak women's prison, where conditions have been criticised repeatedly by human rights groups.

But Maroufian, whose age is given by Persian media outside Iran as 23, was then released from Qarchak on Wednesday, she posted on social media.

"Do you regret the photo you posted when you were released? Do you admit you made a mistake?" she asked herself in a rhetorical question in the post.

"No; I didn't do anything wrong," she added in reply, posting a similar image of herself bareheaded in a white shirt with her right arm stretched up in a 'V' for victory sign.

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Last October, Maroufian published an interview on the Mostaghel Online news site with Amjad Amini, the father of Mahsa Amini whose death in custody last September after she allegedly violated the dress rules sparked months of protests.

In the interview, Amjad Amini accused authorities of lying about the circumstances of his daughter's death.

Iranian authorities have indicated she died because of a health problem, but the family and activists have said she suffered a blow to the head while in custody.

Maroufian, a Tehran-based journalist from Amini's hometown of Saqez in Kurdistan province, was first arrested in November.

She was later released but in January said she had been sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for five years, on charges of propaganda against the system and spreading false news.

Her rapid return to prison after posting defiant images on her release recalled the case of labour activist Sepideh Gholian.

In March, Gholian was rearrested hours after she walked free from jail bare-headed and chanting slogans against Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Gholian, one of the most prominent female activists detained in Iran, remains in prison.