Iran News ...


7/13/03

Iran President voices deep grief at Ms Kazemi's death, assigns four ministers to inquire into case

President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday expressed deep grief at sudden death of Iranian photographer Ms Zahra Kazemi and assigned four cabinet members to inquire into her death, IRNA reported from Tehran.

In a directive to Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei, Minister of Information Ali Yunessi, Minister of the Interior Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari and Minister of Justice Ismail Shushtari, the president sought to clarify every aspect of the sudden death of the photographer.

"You should determine the reasons for her sudden death and who is responsible for it," President Khatami said in his directive in reaction to a statement from her family that she may have died of physical attack.

Ms Kazemi was arrested while taking photo from Evin prison compound where families of those under arrest were staging demonstration on June 23.

She suffered a stroke when she was subject to interrogation and died in hospital.

President Khatami urged the four cabinet ministers to see whether there is a matter of culpability in the case which led to the sudden death and report the outcome of their inquiry soon.

Minister condoles with press community on death of photographer

Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei on Sunday expressed condolence to the family of Iranian photographer Ms Zahra Kazemi on her sudden death in Iran, IRNA reportef from Tehran.

Ms Kazemi who held both Iranian and Canadian passports died of brain attack in Tehran on June 26.

On a mission from London-based Camera Press, she had taken photos from families of those under arrest at Evin Prison who were staging demonstration outside the compound where photography is prohibited.

She had been stopped by the prison guard and became subject to interrogation of violating the law when she suffered a sudden brain stroke.

Masjed Jamei said that he was saddened to hear the colleague's sudden death and sympathized with the press community over loss of the colleague.

He said in his letter faxed to IRNA that the ministry will follow up the case to clarify different aspects of the sudden death.

Kazemi dies of brain stroke in the hospital

A Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance official, speaking in Tehran on Saturday, said that the Canada-based Iranian photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, died of brain stroke in hospital Friday night, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The Director General of the Foreign Press and Media Department of the ministry, Mohammad Hossein Khoshvaqt, told IRNA that Kazemi's mother as well as other members of her family visited her in the hospital and were informed of all medical procedures she was going through.

The Iranian photojournalist, 54, travelled to Iran as the representative of the English "Camera Press".

Khoshvaqt further said that the body of Kazemi was transferred to the coroner's office and due to her Iranian nationality she will be treated as any other Iranian citizens.

Elaborating on her career in Iran, the director general also noted that Kazemi submitted her request to his department for taking photos and compiling reports on Tehran University and its students on June 24 for the English "Camera Press", introducing herself as an Iranian national with an Iranian passport.

Based on the documents she submitted to this department a license was granted to this Iranian citizen to carry out her journalistic mission within the framework and regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran up to June 28, he added.

The official also noted that since she had Iranian nationality and held Iranian passport and documents, she was not treated like a foreign journalist and so the department did not inquire about her from the Ministry of Information.

After receiving the license, Khoshvaqt went on, she cut her contact with the department of the Foreign Press and Media until "we heard from relevant authorities that she, ignoring all regulations, had been taking photos from the Evin prison in north of Tehran" and compiling a report on the families of those arrested during the recent unrest in Tehran.

He said though there were clear signs prohibiting any photography around the prison she had been taking pictures from different parts of it and so she was stopped by the guards.

According to our information, Khoshvaqt added, the Ministry of Information did not confirm her documents either and so after realizing her illegal activities the Judiciary was asked to stop this Iranian national and take back her license.

Khoshvaqt remarked that she had complained of poor health in the first stages of investigations and was immediately taken to the hospital where she died of brain stroke June 26.

... Payvand News - 7/13/03 ... --



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