New York, July 22, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists has learned that Iran is continuing to arrest journalists, with two more detained in June. CPJ calls on the authorities to release all imprisoned journalists, and to allow reporters to conduct their work unimpeded.
Abdolreza Tajik, who writes for reformist newspapers in Iran including Fath,
Bonyan, Bahar, and Shargh, was arrested on June 12,
according to local news
reports. Tajik's sister told U.S.
government-backed Farsi-language Radio Farda that her brother was arrested
after being summoned to Tehran’s
Intelligence Ministry. After a month of not knowing his whereabouts, his family
finally confirmed on July 15 that he is being held in Tehran’s Evin Prison, according to news
being held for the third time since the disputed June 2009 elections. He was arrested
shortly after the election and released after 46 days in Evin. He was
rearrested on December 29 and released after two months, on February 28,
according to news
reports. Currently, he is being charged with "propagation
against the regime" in connection with his membership in the Human Rights
which is led by Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, according to news
reports. Recently, the center’s members have been facing increasing
pressure from the government as they report human rights violations in Iran, according
to International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, a U.S.-based nongovernmental
Also in June, Hamed Saber,
a freelance photographer, was arrested after posting
he took of Tehran street
protests on photo-sharing websites like Flickr
and Picasa. His
pictures were published by a number of different
publications worldwide; one was used as a cover
of Der Spiegel. He was arrested on June 21, according to the Human Rights House of Iran,
formerly known as the Reporters and Human Rights Activists in Iran (RAHANA), a
local press freedom and human rights group. News of Saber’s detention took
weeks to independently confirm.
call on Tehran to bring to an end its
persecution of critical journalists," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, Middle East and North Africa Coordinator. "Journalists
who have been arrested only for doing their job are enduring horrific
conditions and treatment in jail. It is time for the authorities to release all
the journalists in its custody."
week, Mohammad Seddigh Kaboudvand, the head of the Human Rights
Organization of Kurdistan and managing editor of the weekly Payam-e Mardom, suffered his third heart attack in Evin Prison, according
to his lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh. Kaboudvand was arrested
in 2007 and accused of acting against national security and engaging against
the state. His
lawyer told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that
life is in danger and that he
is not able to speak clearly or to see. "I would like to state that the
prison authorities and Head of the Judiciary are responsible for Mr.
Kaboudvand’s life,” his lawyer said.
37 journalists were behind bars in Iran as of June 1, according to
CPJ’s last census
of imprisoned journalists.