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1/20/04

Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of independent journalist Ensafali Hedayat

Reporters Without Borders has called for the immediate release of independent journalist Ensafali Hedayat, employed by a number of reformist dailies, who was arrested at his home by order of the Tabriz revolutionary court in north-western Iran on 16 January.

"We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Ensafali Hedayat, arrested without reason. We note that, with ten other journalists imprisoned, Iran is the Middle East's largest jail for journalists. We call on the Iranian authorities to free all of them, " said Robert Ménard, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders.

Hedayat had just returned from Germany where he attended the first conference of the union of Iranian Republicans in Berlin from 8-10 January. He had been accredited and covered the meeting as a journalist. The authorities, who searched his home, seized personal documents included data CDs and the hard disk of his computer.

Hedayat was previously arrested on 16 June 2003, at the University of Tabriz, where he was covering student demonstrations. Accused of inciting the students to revolt, he spent more than 20 days in solitary confinement. After his release on 14 July, he wrote a letter to President Khatami in which he spoke out against his prison conditions and against torture practised by the security forces.

... Payvand News - 1/20/04 ... --



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