Six more journalists detained in Iran

According to Committee to Protect Journalists, 31 journalists were detained since Iranian elections.

By E.B. SOLOMONT, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT IN NEW YORK
July 15, 2009 22:50
1 minute read.
Six more journalists detained in Iran

pal journalists 224.88. (photo credit: AP [AP])

 
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Iranian authorities have reportedly arrested six more journalists, bringing the total to 31 since the country's presidential election last month, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The arrests make Iran "the world's worst jailer of journalists," according to the group, which publicized news of the arrests earlier this week. In addition to the new arrests, a court in Teheran sentenced another journalist, Saeed Matin-Pour, to eight years in prison, according to CPJ. The court convicted Matin-Pour of having "relations with foreigners and propagating against the regime," and sent him to Evin Prison. Initially arrested in May 2007 and released on bail after nine months, Matin-Pour worked for the Yar Pag and Mouj Bidari newspapers in Azaerbaijan province, western Iran. He also wrote his own blog, according to CPJ, which cited local news reports. "We condemn the harsh sentence given to Saeed Matin-Pour on vague accusations and call on the court of appeal to overturn it," said Muhammad Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "We call on the Iranian authorities to halt their campaign against journalists and free those who remain behind bars." Since Iran's controversial June 12 election, hundreds of political activists, journalists and demonstrators have been detained. At least 31 journalists to date have been imprisoned, along with six who were arrested before the election. Most of the detained journalists work for the local media, although one, Maziar Bahari, is a reporter for Newsweek, CPJ said. Among the detainees, 16 work for print publications, four for online publications and two in television, while eight are bloggers. Seven are freelancers, including a freelance photographer for Getty Images, Majid Saeedi. In a statement, Getty said: "We at Getty Images are working toward his safe and quick release."

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