Iranian journalist gets prison term, desert exile
By Nasser Karimi, AP - Sun Jan 3
TEHRAN, Iran - An Iranian journalist lost an
appeal Sunday against his conviction on charges of spreading propaganda against
the ruling Islamic establishment and was sentenced to six years in prison and
five years of internal exile in a remote desert town.
The court also confirmed a lifelong ban on political activity for the prominent reporter, Ahmad Zeidabadi, who was also once a student activist. (read more)
More arrests of journalists in Tehran
Source: Reporters Without Borders, 2 January 2010 -
There have been more arrests of journalists in the past few days. Mohammad Sadegh Javadihessar, a columnist for the now-closed daily Etemad-e Melli, was arrested on 30 December after receiving a summons from the intelligence ministry the same day. Books and his computer's hard disk were confiscated during a seven-hour search of his home. His family has received no word of him since his arrest.
Nemat Ahmadi, a lawyer who represents several imprisoned journalists, Mahsa Hekmet, another Etemad-e Melli journalist, and Mohammed Reza Zohdi, the former editor of the now closed newspaper Arya, who now writes for several other pro-reform newspapers and is a member of the Press Freedom Defence Committee, were arrested yesterday and were taken to an unknown location.
There were detained by men in plain-clothes who had come with an arrest warrant for Ali Hekmet, another member of the Press Freedom Defence Committee, and once there, arrested them instead. Ahmadi was released a few hours later but the two journalists, and Mashaallah Shamsolvaezin, the committee's spokesman, who was arrested on 28 December, are still being held in an unknown location.
Parisa Kakaei , a journalists
and blogger (http://parisad.blogspot.com/),
was arrested today after being summoned by the intelligence ministry. She was
reportedly transferred to Tehran's Evin prison.
The relentless crackdown on the press in
23 other journalists already in prison in
Each one of these incidents is
appalling, as is the brutality the
But the arrest of Shamsolvaezin,
or Shams as he is known, hits home in a very personal way. We consider him a
friend. When we honored Shams in prison in 2000 he was serving a 30-month
sentence for "insulting Islamic principles." After his
early release from prison in September 2001 we stayed
in touch. Shams has emerged not only as a vital defender of free expression
Obviously, we are deeply
concerned for his welfare and will continue to speak out on his behalf.
Does the international attention make a difference? We believe it does, and we are prepared for a long campaign. At a minimum, we hope that Shams becomes aware of the level of international concern and is bolstered by it. That's what happened when Greek freelancer Iason Athanasiadis was in jail. He tells his story in this brief video interview with CPJ.
Without overlooking the terrible injustice perpetrated against every one of the journalists jailed in Iran, we feel a special bond with Shams and will continue to emphasize his case.
Shams, if somehow you get this message, here's what we want you to know: Journalists around the world stand behind you, and will not rest until you are released.
... Payvand News - 01/05/10 ... --