20 leading European online news sites have rallied to join Reporters Without Borders in support of colleagues in Iran as the fifth journalist was arrested on 18 October in a crackdown against the online media.
They are calling for the release of Shahram Rafihzadeh, Hanif Mazroi, Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi, Omid Memarian and Javad Gholam Tamayomi.
"We want to demonstrate our solidarity with our Iranian colleagues, imprisoned simply for doing their jobs," the media said in a statement. "At a time when the Internet has become one of the main sources of news, protecting online journalists and publications is the key to defending press freedom."
Javad Gholam Tamayomi, journalist with the daily Mardomsalari (Democracy) was arrested on 18 October 2004, after responding to a summons from the 9th chamber of the Tehran prosecutor's office.
Omid Memarian, journalist and weblog creator, was arrested on 10 October.
Shahram Rafihzadeh, cultural editor of the newspaper Etemad (Confidence), was arrested on 7 September.
Hanif Mazroi, former journalist with several reformist publications, was arrested on 8 September.
Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi, former political editor of Etemad, was picked up at his home on 27 September.
The five journalists are accused of contributing to reformist news websites. In the past few months, the regime has also tightened Net filtering, blocking access to several dozen online publications and political weblogs.
In a country where television, radio and newspapers are heavily censored, the Internet is, despite censorship, the only source of independent news and information.
For a full summary of freedom of expression on the Internet in Iran see the Reporters Without Borders report "Internet Under Surveillance at http://www.rsf.org/article.php3 ?id_article=10733
List of online publications taking part in the campaign :
France - Courrierinternational.com, lefigaro.fr, lemonde.fr, nouvelobs.com, lexpress.fr, et telerama.fr, zataz.com
Spain- elpais.es, elmundo.es, abc.es, larazon.es, lavanguardia.es, elperiodico.com, periodistas-es.org, pressnetweb.com,
Germany - dw-world.de, netzeitung.de, politik-digital.de spiegel.de, sueddeutsche.de, telepolis.de, de.internet.com
Italy - internazionale.it, unita.it
UK - indexoncensorship.org
... Payvand News - 10/22/04 ... --