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Iranian Press Community seeks immediate release of television reporters detained by US troops in Iraq

Iranian Press Community expressed deep concern over the detention of two Iranian reporters in Iraq working for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), IRNA reported from Tehran.

Saeed Abutaleb and Soheil Karimi, prominent artists and documentary filmmakers were arrested by the coalition troops in Iraq on July 2.

President Mohammad Khatami, Parliamentary Speaker Mehdi Karroubi, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and IRIB Chief Ali Larijani have called for immediate release of the Iranian reporters held in Iraq.

President Khatami told reporters that Iran urged both London and Washington to secure the release of the Iranian reporters from Iraq.

Head of the Parliament's Cultural Commission Ahmad Pournejati on Saturday echoed the concern of Iranian officials about the detention of the two artists in Iraq.

"The two artists had travelled to Iraq to take documentary film about the every day life of the Iraqi people," Pournejati said in a letter to Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karroubi.

"Though this is not the first time that the reporters in Iraq have been exposed to violation of international law in Iraq under occupation force, but continued detention of the two Iranian TV reporters is a surprising and worrying practice," Pournejati said.

Granting freedom for reporters is a symbol of democratic principles and progress in the international community, Pournejati said calling on the occupying powers in Iraq to release the Iranian television reporters as quickly as possible.

The MP from Tehran also called on international organizations and the advocates of the reporters rights to do their best to help free the Iranian reporters from custody in Iraq.

He said that reporters of the messengers of friendship and international peace and the coalition forces are expected to fulfill their obligation in this respect.

... Payvand News - 7/27/03 ... --

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