NewsSpecial WireIran detains three journalists – rights group

Iran detains three journalists – rights group

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Iran Focus: London, Jul. 05 – An international media rights group said that three journalists had been detained by Iranian authorities, one of them as recently as this week. Iran Focus

London, Jul. 05 – An international media rights group said that three journalists had been detained by Iranian authorities, one of them as recently as this week.

“Mohammad Sadegh Kabovand, the editor of Payam-e mardom-e Kurdestan (a weekly that was closed down in 2004) was arrested on 1 July by intelligence ministry agents, who searched his home and seized personal files, his computer hard disk and CD-ROMs”, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement on Wednesday. “He was immediately taken to Evin prison”, it added.

“Said Matinpour of Yarpagh (an Azeri-language weekly based in Tehran) has been detained since 28 May, when he and his wife were arrested at their home in the northwestern city of Zanjan. He was transferred to Tehran two days later and is now being held in security section 209 in Evin prison. He has not been charged and neither his relatives nor his lawyer have been able to see him.

“Mohammad Hassan Fallahieh, a journalist with the Arabic-language service of the public radio and TV broadcaster Al-Alam, has been detained since last November. He was tried by a revolutionary tribunal on 29 April on a charge of spying and was sentenced to three years in prison. He is also now being held in Evin prison’s security section 209”, it added.

“The Iranian regime is one of the most repressive in the world towards the media”, the press freedom organisation said.

“Independent journalists are closely watched and constantly harassed. Arrests are frequent, and months can go by before the place of detention and charges are discovered. With six journalists detained, Iran continues to be the Middle East’s biggest prison for the press”, the group added.

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