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Jailed Iranian reporter criticizes embattled IRNA chief

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Siamak Ghaderi
Siamak Ghaderi

While international human rights groups are condemning the attacks against Ali Akbar Javanfekr, the presidential press advisor and head of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), a former IRNA reporter has written a letter from prison to remind the public that not long ago, journalists like him received similar treatment from the very IRNA chief under attack today.

Siamak Ghaderi writes of the "inhumane" treatment he received from intelligence officials, who carried a letter from Javanfekr accusing him of being "anti-regime and anti-Velayat Faqih," similar to the allegations reportedly now levelled against Javanfekr.

Ghaderi accuses Javanfekr and his allies of "power mongering and amassing wealth" and he criticizes the economic and social polices of the Ahmadinejad administration.

Ali Akbar Javanfekr
Ali Akbar Javanfekr

Javanfekr has been using his recent media appearances to denounce the prison term he's received from the judiciary. He has also criticized the judiciary's treatment of his allies, especially Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, another Ahmadinejad supporter. Malekzadeh was dismissed from the Foreign Ministry under pressure from the judiciary and is currently in jail, charged with financial fraud.

Javanfekr has spoken out against Malekzadeh's solitary confinement, saying that his family's inability to visit him in prison led to his wife's miscarriage.

Gahderi reminds Javanfekr that the Islamic Republic jails are full of prisoners receiving similar or worse treatments. He criticizes Javanfekr for failing to speak out against the injustices of the judicial system prior to his own entanglement with it.

Ghaderi was arrested in August of 2010 at his home and has been sentenced to three years in prison for participating in gatherings and reporting on them. He also has to pay a fine of one million rials for describing the government as "illegitimate."

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