Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Iran Crackdown on Journalists

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders is concerned to learn of the arrests of two more Iranian journalists in the past two weeks, bringing the total number of journalists and bloggers currently held in Iran to 15, including two women.

"Although Roxana Saberi was freed on 11 May many other journalists have been arrested in the past two weeks with little being said about it," Reporters Without Borders said. "The Iranian authorities have quietly increased the number of detained journalists."

Massoud Loqman, the editor of the arts and culture website Rouznamak ( ) and a member of the Association of Iranian Journalists, was arrested in the centre of Tehran on 1 May.

He was the victim of police violence at the time of his arrest. On the evening of 1 May, intelligence ministry officials searched his home without a warrant. He was one of a total of six journalists and cyber-dissidents to be arrested on 1 May in Tehran. The others were Alireza Saghafi, editor of themagazine "Rah Ayandeh", journalist Kaveh Mozafari, who writes for two websites FeministSchool ( ) and Wechange, also known as Change for Equality ( ), Jelveh Javaheri, who also writes for FeministSchool, Amir Yaghoubali, who writes for the daily "Etemad" ( ) and Wechange, and Nikzad Zangane, who keeps a blog ( ). Only the two women's rights activists, Javaheri and Zangane, have been able to contact their families since their arrest.

The other newly-reported detention is that of Sajad Khaksari, a journalist with the weekly "Galam Moalem" ("Teacher's Pen"), who was arrested on 26 April for photographing a demonstration by teachers. A judge initially ordered his release on bail but then reversed his ruling.

Reporters Without Borders also condemns the fact that two journalists who work with Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's Human Rights Defenders Centre- Nargues Mohamadi and Soraya Azizpanah, editor of the Kurdish magazine"Rasan" - were prevented from leaving Iran on 8 May to attend a conferencein Guatemala on women's rights.

For further information contact Soazig Dollet, RSF, 47, rue Vivienne, 75002Paris, France, tel: +33 1 44 83 84 78, fax: +33 1 45 23 11 51, e-mail:, Internet:

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