22nd June 2011
Photojournalist Maryam Majd, who had been reported “missing,” has been arrested, a source close to Majd family told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on condition of anonymity. According to the source, Majd called home yesterday to inform her family of her whereabouts, but the family is under pressure not to talk to the media. The source told the Campaign that on the evening of 16 June, four men likely from the Intelligence Ministry, went to Majd’s home and after searching the premises and her room, arrested the sports photographer. The agents also took some of Majd’s personal items with them.
Maryam Majd, a sports photojournalist, was scheduled to arrive in Dusseldorf, Germany on 17 June to photograph the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Petra Landers, a former player on the German National Team who was scheduled to collaborate with Majd on a FIFA book project on female soccer players worldwide, has written a letter to the German Foreign Ministry urging them to ask Iranian authorities to provide information about Majd’s whereabouts.
Majd’s German hosts in Dusseldorf waited for her for hours on Friday, according to reports, but she never showed up. Several hours after Majd’s scheduled flight had landed, her hosts contacted Mahan Air to ask about her whereabouts, but were told that Majd’s name was not on the passenger list of the flight.
Maryam Majd is one of the few Iranian photographers who specializes in women’s sports She is a member of a campaign to seek women’s attendance inside sports complexes, and previously worked with the monthly magazine Zanan. The Campaign learned that Majd’s family is being heavily pressured to not speak to the media and Iranian authorities have so far remained silent about her situation.