The authorities in Sanandaj have ordered that three journalists arrested at the start of August for covering the disturbances of the past few weeks in Iran's Kurdish-dominated northwestern region should be kept in custody for two months. A third journalist who was arrested this morning, Hossin Ahamadi Niaz, was released later in the day on bail.
"We condemn the provisional custody orders issued for Roya Tolou, Ejlal Ghavami and Said Saedi, and we call on the authorities in Sanandaj to stop persecuting journalists who are courageous enough to cover demonstrations," Reporters Without Borders said.
Tolou, the editor of the newspaper Resan, was arrested by in Sanandaj on 1 August and placed in custody on 8 August. Ghavami, a reporter with the weekly Payam-e mardom-e Kurdestan, and Saedi, a freelance journalist who occasionally works for the weekly Asou, were placed in custody on 2 August.
Niaz, the editor of the weekly Aso, is one of the many journalists who have been summoned one by one to appear before Sanandaj's revolutionary court. When he appeared before the court this morning, he was detained for several hours and then freed after paying the exorbitant amount of 90,000 euros in bail.
What is happening now in Iran's Kurdish region was preceded by similar events a few months ago in the southern province of Khozestan. Coverage of the latest events prompted the closure on 9 August of the weekly Sotalsha'ab, the province's only newspaper published in both Farsi and Arabic, on the orders of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance.
... Payvand News - 8/12/05 ... --