May 4, 2011, Washington, D.C. - PAAIA and the Iranian American community at large are seriously concerned about the fate of Dorothy Parvaz, an Iranian American journalist for Al Jazeera's English-language channel, who according to recent media reports was detained in Syria on Friday, April 29, 2011.
Parvaz was born in Iran to an Iranian father and an American mother. She received her master's degree in journalism from the University of Arizona, and was a 2009 Neiman Fellow at Harvard University. Prior to joining Al Jazeera, she spent nearly a decade as a reporter for the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
Al-Jazeera assigned her to Syria to cover the protests and has not been heard from since she arrived in Damascus. The network announced on Wednesday that Syrian authorities have confirmed her detention.
The U.S. Embassy in Damascus has inquired about her situation and for consular access from the Syrian Government. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has also submitted a formal inquiry with the U.S. State Department regarding Parvaz's disappearance.
As an organization that represents the interests of Iranian Americans, PAAIA is extremely concerned about the whereabouts of Dorothy Parvaz. PAAIA seeks to protect Iranian Americans' right to immunity from harassment and unlawful detention when traveling outside the United States. As such, PAAIA calls on the authorities in Syria to release Parvaz and ensure that her rights are safeguarded, consistent with international norms. We also urge the U.S. State Department to continue to work for her repatriation.
Related Article: Al Jazeera journalist missing in Syria
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