Washington, D.C., January 18, 2021—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish authorities to immediately halt the deportation of Iranian investigative journalist Mohammad Mosaed to Iran. Mosaed was honored with CPJ’s 2020 International Press Freedom Award in November.
Yesterday, Mosaed contacted CPJ via messaging app, saying he had been detained by Turkish border police after crossing into Turkey from Iran at the eastern border city of Van. Mosaed, who was sentenced in August by an Iranian court to four years and nine months in prison on charges of “colluding against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the system,” told CPJ he fled Iran after being summoned by authorities to begin serving his jail sentence in two days’ time.
Mosaed told CPJ that the Turkish police took him to Ozalp Devlet Hastanesi hospital for medical treatment, and that the police told him they would soon hand him back to Iranian border control.
“We believe that Mohammad Mosaed has a well-founded fear of persecution should he be returned to Iran,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “We urge Turkish authorities to respect their obligations under international law; to refrain from deporting Mosaed; to consider any request for political asylum that Mosaed may make; and to assure Mosaed’s rights are protected through due process of law.”
CPJ’s phone messages to the Van governor’s office were not immediately returned.