Letters   |   Iran

Free Maziar Bahari: 100 global journalists petition Iran

July 15, 2009

His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi 
Justice Ministry 
Pazdah-Khordad (Ark) Square 
Tehran, Iran 

By fax: 98 21 222 90 151
 

Your Excellency:

We are writing to express our grave concern at the detention of our esteemed fellow journalist Maziar Bahari and to request his immediate release. Mr. Bahari has been detained since June 21. No charges have been brought against him, and he has not been granted access to a lawyer. As one of the most impartial and committed journalists in his field, he has reported regularly over the past decade from the Middle East, principally from Iran and Iraq, and provided consistently balanced and insightful reports. As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, he has earned global respect for his work.

Maziar Bahari (Newsweek)

We request that he be immediately released from custody and be allowed to resume his work. As a journalist, he was engaged in fulfilling his professional duties, reporting on critical events following the elections. At a minimum, he is entitled to the full protection of the laws of Iran, including the right to legal counsel. The Islamic Republic of Iran's domestic laws recognize the right to free expression. Iran was also one of the first countries in the world to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees all individuals the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media.

As leading international journalists and editors who wish to ensure that our fellow professionals are permitted to do their work safely and freely, we ask you to consider this petition and return Mr. Bahari to his family, friends, and colleagues without further delay.

Sincerely,

Nada Adessamad, Lebanon

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, Al-Arabiya

Mansoor Al-Jamri, Al-Wasat, Bahrain

Abdul Karim Al-Khaiwani, Yemen

Walid Al-Omari, Al-Jazeera

Christiane Amanpour, CNN

Jamal Amer, Al-Wasat, Yemen

Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker

Ali Anouzla, Al-Jarida Al-Oula, Morocco

Sally Armstrong, Maclean's, Canada

Abdul Bari Atwan, Al-Quds Al-Arabi

Omar Belhouchet, Al-Watan, Algeria

Ahmed Reda Benchemsi, TelQuel and Nishan, Morocco

Mohamed Benchicou, Algeria

Sihem Bensedrine, Kalima, Tunisia

Mehmet Ali Birand, CNN TURK

Taoufik Bouachrine, Akhbar el-Youm, Morocco

Ali Bulaç Zaman, Turkey

Tony Burman, Al-Jazeera English

Ian Buruma, Bard College

Lydia Cacho, Mexico

Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Confidencial, Nicaragua

Doha Chams, Al-Akhbar, Lebanon

Ying Chan, Hong Kong

Noam Chomsky, U.S.

Daniel Coronell, Noticias Uno, Colombia

Marites Danguilan Vitug, Newsbreak, The Philippines

Nicholas Dawes, Mail and Guardian, South Africa

Redi Direko, Radio 702, South Africa

Ibrahim Eissa, Al-Dustour, Egypt

Gamal Fahmy, Egypt

Lucio Flavio Pinto, Jornal Pessoal, Brazil

Yousri Fouda, Egypt

Tom Friedman, The New York Times

Sami Ghaleb, Al-Nida, Yemen

Murtada Ghali, Ajras Al-Hurriya, Sudan

Hussein Abdel  Ghani, Al-Jazeera

Mónica Gonzalez, CIPER, Chile

Gustavo Gorriti, Peru

Alma Guillermoprieto, Mexico

Lotfi Hajji, Al-Jazeera

Brian Hungwe, Zimbabwe

Boubakir Jamai, Le Journal, Morocco

Josef Joffe, Die Zeit, Germany

Chaitanya Kalbag, India

Hisham Kassem, EOHR, Egypt

Rachid Khechana, Al-Mawkif, Tunisia

Elias Khoury, An-Nahar, Lebanon

Kyung-Ho Kim, Journalists Association of Korea

Sami Kohen, Milliyet, Turkey

Ted Koppel, U.S.

Mohamed Krichene, Al-Jazeera

Daoud Kuttab, Palestine

Andrei Lipsky, Novaya Gazeta, Russia

Linden MacIntyre, CBC, Canada

Amadou Mahtar Ba, All Africa

Peter Mansbridge, CBC, Canada

Daniele Mastrogiacomo, La Repubblica, Italy

Veran Matic, B92, Serbia

Wilf Mbanga, The Zimbabwean

Adam Michnik, Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

John Micklethwait, The Economist

Roula Mikkaeil, Maharat, Lebanon

Javier Moreno, El País

Caroline Mutoko, Kiss FM, Kenya

Adela Navarro Bello, Zeta, Mexico

Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times

Carol Off, CBC, Canada

Mariane Pearl, France

Teodoro Petkoff, Tal Cual, Venezuela

Alan Philps, U.K.

Cristian Tudor, Popescu, Gândul, Romania

Vladimir Pozner, Independent Journalist, Russia

Antonia Rados, RTL Germany

Sergio Ramírez, Nicaragua

Ahmed Rashid, Pakistan

Neziha Rejiba, Kalima, Tunisia

Lloyd Robertson, CTV News, Canada

Fernando Rodrigues, Folha de S. Paulo, Brazil

Pierre Rousselin, Le Figaro

Fabrice Rousselot, Libération

Rana Sabbagh-Gargour, Jordan

Mahjoub Mohamed Saleh, Al-Ayyam, Sudan

Daniel Santoro, Clarín, Argentina

Enrique Santos, El Tiempo, Colombia

Fernando Savater, Spain

Roberto Saviano, Italy

Khaled Sergany, Al-Dostour, Egypt

Najam Sethi, Daily Times, Pakistan

Sabam Siagian, Jakarta Post, Indonesia

Sigrun Slapgard, Norwegian Broadcasting Organisation

Jon Snow, Channel 4, U.K.

John Stackhouse, The Globe and Mail, Canada

Paul Steiger, ProPublica, U.S.

Ndey Tapha Sosseh, Gambia Press Union

Tarun Tejpal, Tehelka, India

Manuel Vázquez Portal, Cuba

Franco Venturini, Corriere della Sera, Italy

Horacio Verbitsky, Página/12, Argentina

Jiang Weiping, China

Lal Wickrematunge, Sunday Leader, Sri Lanka

Karem Yehya, Egypt

Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek

Faride Zeran, Chile

Click here to read this petition in Farsi (pdf)

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