Iran News ...


Families of two Iranian TV reporters detained by US troops in Iraq hold gathering outside Swiss Embassy in Tehran

Families of two Iranian television reporters Saeed Abutaleb, and Soheli Karimi gathered before Swiss Embassy in Tehran demanding their immediate release from custody in Iraq, IRNA reported.

Aboutaleb along with another film director from IRIB 2nd channel left for Iraq on June 12 to make a film on the life of the Iraqi people. The two directors along with their driver and interpreter were arrested by the American forces on July 1.

Mrs Mohtaram Jebelli, mother of Soheil Karimi said that her son went to Iraq on June 12 and was arrested by the coalition forces on July 1.

She said that according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Soheil Karimi is in custody at Baghdad airport.

"We and the family of Mr Saeed Abutaleb have gathered together here asking the Swiss Embassy to convey our demand to the United States to immediately free our sons working for national television of Iran." "We expect the Swiss Embassy to follow up our legitimate demand," she said.

Sohrab Karimi, Soheil's brother said, "It is not clear why the coalition forces have arrested my brother. With arrest of my brother, it became clear the United States has put into force a news blackout on the life of the Iraqi people."

He said that Soheil has possessed all the necessary papers and cards for his professional work in Iraq.

Mrs Faranak Dalpy, wife of Saeed Abutaleb, said that her husband had planned to make a documentary film about life in Iraq and the process of humanitarian aid being distributed to the Iraqi people.

She said that her husband had possessed the papers and cards necessary for his professional work in Iraq so she was surprised with Saeed's arrest.

"It is not clear how the United States, the so-called advocate of human rights is justifying the arrest of the television reporters," she said.

Mrs Ashraf Aqajani, Saeed's mother said, "We should ask the American troops whether making a documentary film is considered a crime."

The families of the two reporters said that they are worried about the health of their members and called for their immediate release.

Families of detained film makers call for their release in letter to Swiss embassy

Families of the two Iranian documentarians, Sa'id Aboutaleb and Soheil Karimi, who have been under detention of American troops in Iraq since July 1, in a letter submitted to the Swiss embassy in Tehran on Monday called for their speedy release.

The letter which was delivered to the charge d'affaires of the Swiss embassy in Tehran by Aboutaleb's brother, said that human worries expose people from all nationalities to equal amount of suffering, irrespective of their color, race and language.

The writers of the letter further added that they cannot hide their internal concern behind the words and would rather point out that in the 21st century the essence of humanity lies in common bonds between individuals.

"Common emotional and humane language is the most illuminated means of communication irrespective of the individuals' race, language and nationality," it added.

Quoting the families of the two detainees, it further noted that the incident leaves a scar on the feature of human rights defenders, given that "our sons have already been in custody for 34 days without being guilty and while they were supposed to enjoy immunity as correspondents."

"The two Iranian documentarians were dispatched to Iraq to record a television program on the living conditions of the oppressed Iraqi people and the trend of the world relief program aimed at providing the war-hit nation with basic requirements, for broadcast on Iranian Channel 2 TV," it said.

According to the letter, the documents commissioning the two documentarians and the background of the documentaries produced by them are available.

"But we are neither aware of any crime nor the decision taken by the American troops about them," he added.

They reiterated, "We would like to call on the Swiss ambassador once more to follow up the case and take measures to release our loved ones and return them to their families."

... Payvand News - 8/4/03 ... --

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