October 07, 2004

Mounting threats to journalists

Iran7 October 2004

Mounting threats to journalists
Reporters Without Borders sounded the alarm today about the mounting press freedom violations in Iran, where journalists are constantly being threatened or summoned for questioning by officials in the justice and intelligence ministries.
In one recent case, Arash Sigarchi was summoned for questioning by the intelligence ministry on 27 August in Rashat (in Gylan province) and was placed in police custody for two days. A contributor to the regional daily Gylan Emroz, he also keeps a weblog called Panhjareh Eltehab ("Window of Anxiety" in Farsi).
He was questioned in great length about the weblog. The day before the interrogation, he had published an article with photographs about the annual meeting held at Khavarn cemetery in Tehran by the families of prisoners who were the victims of mass executions in 1989.
Reporters Without Borders said it also condemned the travel ban on Emadoldin Baghi, a freelance journalist and press freedom activist, who wanted to travel to Europe and the United States to take part in human rights conferences. Baghi said he was handed a letter as he was about to board a plane on 5 October in which "the special clerical court requested that I be prevented from leaving Iran."
Baghi, who also heads an association of prisoners of conscience, said : "I have been under increasingly closer surveillance for several months. The surveillance was stepped up even more in the past few days and two agents are constantly following me."
He was sentenced in 2000 to three years in prison for contributing articles to several reformist newspapers that have since been closed. He went back to journalism activity after being released in February 2003 and became the editor of the daily Jomhouriyat, which the authorities closed down in July this year. He was given a one-year suspended sentence in December 2003 without any official reason being given.
Reporters Without Borders also voiced concern about the fate of three journalists, Hanif Mazroi, Shahram Rafihzadeh and Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi, whose families have received no word of them since their recent arrests.
Ebrahimi, who was arrested at his Tehran home on 27 September, is the former political editor of the reformist daily Etemad (which means "Trust" in Farsi). He has also worked for several other reformist newspapers now closed by the authorities, including the daily Jomhouriyat, which was banned by the judicial authorities on 18 July.
Rafihzadeh's brother, Bahram Rafihzadeh, told the news agency ISNA : "Ever since my brother was arrested, we have had no information about him or the case against him. Officially, he cannot be allowed any visits until the case against him is "clarified," but there is no case information to be transmitted."
reporters without borders



  Comments (1)        Top 

 

Recent Entries
Archives
Contact
 emad_baghi at hotmail.com
Notification

Info
:: 122 Entries & 31 Comments.
:: Statistic
:: RSS
:: MovableType 3.121