NewsSpecial WireMedia watchdog: Iran must stop hounding journalists

Media watchdog: Iran must stop hounding journalists

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Iran Focus: London, Aug. 07 – A prominent press freedoms organisation urged Iran to release a newly-arrested journalist.
Iran Focus

London, Aug. 07 – A prominent press freedoms organisation urged Iran to release a newly-arrested journalist.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called for the release of Soheil Assefi, a journalist who was arrested when he presented himself to a Tehran court on 4 August in response to a summons.

“Neither his family nor his lawyers know where he is being held or what he is charged with. Officials from the prosecutor’s office searched his home on 31 July, taking personal documents and his computer’s hard disk”, it said in a statement.

“This situation is unacceptable”, RSF said. “He is the third journalist to be arrested in the space of [a”> week. His detention brings to 11 the number of journalists and cyber-dissidents held in Iran, which is the Middle East’s biggest prison for the press. Iran must stop hounding journalists by bringing trumped-up charges against them”.

On 31 July, journalists Masoud Bastani and Farshad Gorbanpour were arrested by authorities. Bastani was freed after several hours but Gorbanpour was transferred to security section 209 in Tehran’s Evin prison on the orders of Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, RSF said.

The group also condemned the suspension earlier this week of the daily Shargh on the orders of the Commission for Media Authorisation and Surveillance for publishing an interview with Saghi Ghahram, a writer, poet and editor of the online exile newspaper Cheraq, in which she defended homosexuals. The commission is controlled by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

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