NPR reporter describes detention by Iran's morality police


NPR reporter Deborah Amos recorded an argument between her translator and a "morality squad" in Tehran last week, she reports. An officer demanded her recorder, but she resisted: "I wanted to protect my material from an overzealous cop I suspected would erase the entire recording rather than search for the two-minute conversation in front of the station house," she writes. In she went.

In the station, she witnessed an argument between some women and the guards. One of the women "had been out sightseeing with a male cousin and stopped to take pictures in a park." Amos' own detention ended with the deletion of the recording she'd made outside:

The resolution to my case came with the assistance of the head female guard. We borrowed headphones from one of the other detainees, and I played her the two-minute recording I had made in front of the station house. She watched me delete it. I was now free to go.

A female officer "gave me a carton of fruit juice and a hug before I turned to walk out the door," Amos reports.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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