One journalist released in Iran, dozens remain behind bars

New York, August 12, 2009–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the news that photojournalist Majid Saeedi has been released on bail in Iran, but remains concerned that he still faces charges. 

Saeedi, a well-known freelance photographer who has worked for several newspapers and global photo agency Getty Images, was released on bail on Tuesday. Getty Images co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein said that Saeedi “is set to face trial on the charges set by Iranian prosecutors, and is possibly facing several years in prison if convicted.”

“We are relieved by Majid Saeedi’s release from prison today, but call on authorities to drop all charges against him,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator ‎‎Mohamed Abdel Dayem. “Saeedi was simply doing his job in documenting post-election events. We appeal to the government to release all remaining imprisoned journalists.”

On July 10, security agents arrested Saeedi at his home and took him to an unknown location, according to Getty Images. Official Iranian news sources reported that he and another photographer, Satyar Emami, had allegedly confessed to taking pictures and sending them to “enemy [news] agencies.” Emami was arrested on July 9.

Iran remains the world’s leading jailer of journalists with at least 37 behind bars.