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The plight of Iranian Journalists

7 years imprisonment for Iranian journalist
Source: Radio Zamaneh

Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi

Bahman Ahmadi Amouyi, prominent reformist journalist who has been detained since June 20 following the outbreak of protests against the allegedly fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been sentenced to seven years in prison. His sentence also includes 34 lashes.

Mr Amouyi was arrested on June 39 along with his wife, Zhila Bani-Yaghoub and was reported to have spent long periods in solitary confinement for complaining about the dismal conditions of the prison.

Farideh Gheyrat, the imprisoned journalist's lawyer will appeal the sentence shortly.

In the past six months over 100 journalists have been arrested, 25 of which are still in prison.

Over seven newspapers have been shut down and yesterday six daily publications and a weekly magazine were threatened with closure for their publication of the opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi's latest announcement.

Iranian journalist gets prison term, desert exile
By Nasser Karimi, AP - Sun Jan 3

Ahmad Zeidabadi

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 (, was arrested today after being summoned by the intelligence ministry. She was reportedly transferred to Tehran's Evin prison.

Reaching out to CPJ's award winner, imprisoned in Iran

By Joel Simon/Executive Director, Committee to Protect Journalists

Mashallah Shamsolvaezin

The relentless crackdown on the press in Iran is, well, relentless. In the last few days we have received word that 11 more journalists have been arrested, including former CPJ International Press Freedom Award winner Mashallah Shamsolvaezin.

There are 23 other journalists already in prison in Iran, according to the global census CPJ carried out on December 1. Scores of other journalists have been arrested and released; mores still have been intimidated, beaten and harassed.

Each one of these incidents is appalling, as is the brutality the Iran regime is inflicting on demonstrators and critics, who have been shot down in the streets in recent days.

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 in Iran, but also an analyst for international media. In the last few months, has criticized the election process and the subsequent crackdown.

Obviously, we are deeply concerned for his welfare and will continue to speak out on his behalf. Tehran's Evin Prison, where we assume he is being held, has become a black hole. Just about everyone held there is isolated, cut off from the world. We have heard many accounts of disturbing, even brutal, interrogations.

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 ... --

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