Reporters Without Borders today announced its full support and solidarity with the one-day strike that hundreds of Iranian journalists are to stage tomorrow to protest against a crackdown in which many of their colleagues have been arrested or summoned for questioning. The strikers will call for the release of the detained journalists and will condemn the unexplained murder of journalist Zahra Kazemi while in custody.
Secretary-general Robert Ménard said the announced strike was symptomatic of the discontent within the profession, pointing out that Reporters Without Borders had registered more than 50 cases of journalists being arrested or called in for questioning over a month. A total of 24 journalists were currently in prison and Reporters Without Borders called for their release, he said.
"Not a week goes by without their coming under more pressure," Ménard said. "Any of them can be arrested at any moment under any pretext. How can they work in such conditions ? And how can they not be afraid when they know that several of the journalists currently detained are being held by the staff of Tehran public prosecutor Said Mortazavi and Revolutionary Guards in the same centre where Zahra Kazemi received the blows that caused her death ?"
Reporters Without Borders voiced particular concern about the conditions in which some of these journalists are being held. The wife of Reza Alijani, detained since 14 June, told the ISNA news agency that she did not recognise her husband during her last prison visit because he had lost so much weight. The wife of Taghi Rahmani has received no word of him since his arrest on 14 June. Her requests to visit him have all been turned down, as have the requests made by the wives of several other detained journalists.
... Payvand News - 8/8/03 ... --