Source: Radio Zamaneh
Detained journalists Emili Amrayi and Narges Joudaki were released from Evin Prison on Sunday February 24. The two journalists were arrested on January 28 along with at least 10 of their colleagues, all involved with reformist newspapers and publications. While some of the journalists caught in the recent wave of arrests have been released, many remain incarcerated.
Narges Joudaki (L) and Emili Amrayi
Iran's prosecutor general has announced that detainees will be released on bail as the investigation of each case is completed. The journalists are being accused of providing news to anti-regime media sources outside Iran.
According to Kaleme, another journalist Keyvan Mehregan was also released from Evin Prison on Saturday February 23. Mehregan, who has worked with top reformist newspapers like Etemad and Shargh, has been arrested four times in the past four years.
Starting on January 30, Iranian authorities began a campaign of arresting reformist journalists and later announced that they are being investigated for possible connections to an anti-regime network of media activists that, according to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, is being controlled by the BBC.
BBC has dismissed the accusation, denying any connection with the detainees.
Confession - cartoon by Mana Neyestani
The crackdown on journalists has been challenged by Iranian conservative MP Ali Motahari, who spoke out against the “sense of insecurity in the press”, adding that such an atmosphere is not in the country’s best interests, especially in the months leading up to the presidential election in June.
Motahari announced: “A simple summons would have been sufficient to carry out this investigation, and there was no need for this sort of arrests.” Challenging the allegation that these reporters are passing on information to the BBC, he asked: “What could these reporters tell BBC that is not already accessible to them?”
Six of the detained journalists have been released on bail so far. The arrest of the journalists has drawn the outcry of human rights activists inside and outside Iran.
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