New wave of arrests of journalists

first_img IranMiddle East – North Africa Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists IranMiddle East – North Africa to go further Receive email alerts RSF_en After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists February 25, 2021 Find out more June 9, 2021 Find out more Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 Follow the news on Irancenter_img News News August 6, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 New wave of arrests of journalists News News March 18, 2021 Find out more Reporters Without Borders condemns a new wave of arbitrary arrests of journalists since the Stalinist-style show-trial of opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad’s reelection began on 1 August. At least three have been arrested in the past 48 hours.“Iranian journalists are being arrested in an utterly illegal manner in the capital and other cities,” Reporters Without Borders said, reiterating its call for the release of all prisoners of conscience in Iran. “We are particularly concerned about the state of health of one of these journalists, Mehdi Yazdani Khoram.”The editor of the newspaper Etemad-e Melli’s arts and literature section, Khoram has a heart condition and was hospitalised last month. He was arrested on a Tehran street by men in plain clothes yesterday evening. He used to work for pro-reform newspapers such as Shargh, Hammihan and Kargozaran, which were closed last year.Mirhamid Hassanzadeh, the editor of the Ghalamnews website (, was arrested on the morning of 4 August at the Tehran headquarters of the ISNA news agency, which he used to run.Reza Norbakhsh, the editor of the daily Farhikhteghan, was also arrested on 4 August at his office in Tehran. Two of the newspaper’s journalists, Esmail Hagh Parast and Masoud Bastani, were arrested 29 June and 4 July respectively.It is not yet known where Khoram, Hassanzadeh and Norbakhsh are being held.Several people were arrested yesterday as they tried to video or photograph anti-riot police and militiamen use force to disperse demonstrators as Ahmadinejad was being installed for his second term as president.The headquarters of the Association of Iranian Journalists, which was due to hold its annual general assembly today, was closed yesterday on the orders of Tehran prosecutor general Said Mortazavi. At the same time, around 100 Iranian journalists and cartoonists announced their intention to boycott the international cartoon festival in Tehran in September, in a show of support for the protests against Ahmadinejad’s reelection.Reporters Without Borders also condemns the continuing harassment of the print media. Newspapers are still subject to the control of the Tehran prosecutor general, who insists that one of his agents check every report, column and cartoon prior to publication. The daily newspaper Khabar Emrooz, for example, was unable to print one of its issues this week because of an article criticising the 3 August ceremony at which the Supreme Leader confirmed Ahmadinejad’s reelection. It was the third time the newspaper has been prevented from bringing out an issue since the 12 June election.Reporters Without Borders has been told that the families of detained journalists have been warned on several occasions by judicial officials and intelligence ministry agents not to talk about their detained relatives or the situation of journalists in general. Some detained journalists have even been forced to call their families to ask them not to talk to the media, especially the foreign media.Masoud Kourdpour, a contributor to several local newspapers, was meanwhile released on 3 August on completing the one-year sentence he received from a revolutionary court in Mahabad (in Iran’s Kurdish northwest) on 15 October 2008 or a charge “anti-government publicity in interviews for foreign and enemy media.” The sentence was confirmed on appeal in November 2008. Organisation Help by sharing this information last_img

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