Iran must release Dorothy Parvaz

May 11, 2011 1:56 PM ET

Parvaz (Ben Piven)

New York, May 11, 2011--Al-Jazeera reported today that Syria has deported Dorothy Parvaz, a journalist working for the channel's English-language service, to Iran.  The Committee to Protect Journalists is calling for her immediate release.

"Syria's apparent deportation of Dorothy Parvaz to Iran when she is also a citizen of the U.S. and Canada, is an irresponsible choice," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. "Given Iran's abysmal press freedom record, we are concerned about Parvaz's well-being. Iranian authorities must immediately release Parvaz, who has committed no crime."

Parvaz arrived in Syria on April 29 and has not been heard from since. Parvaz, a U.S., Canadian, and Iranian national, was held incommunicado by an unidentified security service. On May 4, Damascus acknowledged that she was in custody, although regional media reports indicate that she was sent to Iran on May 1.  Iran, together with China, is the world's top jailer of journalists in 2010, according to CPJ research.

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