Kurdish journalist Nazila Maroofian has revealed in a phone call from Tehran’s Evin prison that she was sexually assaulted and physically beaten by security forces during her latest arrest, the fourth since last year’s anti-government protests.

Maroofian, who was arrested on 30 August during a violent raid by security forces on her home in Tehran, said in an audio recording of a phone call that she was beaten by security forces at the time of her arrest and that “I was sexually assaulted at a time when I was in the worst possible state”.

The Kurdish journalist, who went on hunger strike on 1 September following her latest detention, explained her motive for the hunger strike in the call, saying that she was protesting against the mistreatment not only of herself but of all women who are subjected to violence in police stations, detention centres and courts in the country.

During a recent visit by her family on 3 September, physical evidence of injuries resulting from her arrest, including visible bruising, was observed on her body, KHRN has learned.

Due to injuries sustained during her arrest, Maroofian was briefly transferred to a hospital in Tehran on 31 August before being returned to the women’s ward of Evin Prison.

Following her arrest, Tasnim News Agency, an outlet affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported that Maroofian had been detained by the Ershad (Moral Guidance) court on charges of “promoting obscenity”.

“Appearing in inappropriate clothing in public places and sharing these images on social media are among the reasons given by the Guidance Court for her arrest,” the media outlet added.

Maroofian, while on a hunger strike, was transferred from the women’s ward of Evin Prison to Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran on 3 September, where she was officially informed of the sentence of one year of imprisonment and a fine of 150 million rials – nearly 300 USD – on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion to disrupt national security”.

The sentence is believed to be related to a case filed against her two months ago, while the status of another case pending at the Evin Security Prosecutor’s Office remains unknown.

In recent weeks, Maroofian received threats from Ministry of Intelligence agents, who warned her of further arrests if she continued her social media activities.

Previously, on 14 August, Maroofian was arrested less than 24 hours after her temporary release, allegedly for “sharing a photo without the obligatory hijab and raising her hand in a victory gesture”.

The journalist was beaten and arrested by security forces before being transferred to Qarchak Prison in Tehran. She was released on bail after two days.

Earlier on 4 July, security forces raided Maroofian’s home in Tehran and confiscated some of her personal belongings, including her mobile phone and laptop.

Security officials had additionally instructed her to appear at the Evin Prosecutor’s Office on 8 July.

After her visit to the Evin Prosecutor’s Office, Maroofian was arrested and sent to Ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran.

Following the conclusion of the interrogation phase, she was relocated to the women’s ward within Evin Prison.

On 13 August, the journalist was released on bail of 3 billion rials – nearly 60,000 USD.

Maroofian was also beaten and dragged on the ground by security forces at Tehran’s Valiasr Square on 20 June.

The journalist was arrested on 30 October 2022 on the orders of the Security Prosecutor’s Office located in Evin Prison for publishing interviews with Jina Mahsa Amini’s father, and was pressured and threatened by interrogators to obtain forced “confessions”.

She suffered two mild heart attacks and was briefly hospitalized at Mofatteh Hospital in the city of Ray, Tehran province, before being returned to prison.

On 9 January, Maroofian was released from Qarchak Prison, Tehran province, on a bail of 6 billion Iranian rials – nearly 12,000 USD.

In January, Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced Maroofian to two years in prison, a fine of 150 million rials, and a five-year ban on leaving Iran.

The charges against Maroofian included “propaganda against the state” and “publishing lies with the intention of disturbing the public mind” by publishing interviews with Jina Mahsa Amini’s father.

The journalist’s two-year sentence was suspended for five years, according to the verdict.