Press Freedom Violations Recounted in Real Time (From 1ST January 2013)
11.03.2013 - Paper closed, journalist arrested, another freed on bail
Reporters Without Borders condemns the closure of the daily Maghreb today, one day after it published an open letter to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, protesting against “illegal and arbitrary newspaper censors.”
The closure was ordered by the Press Authorization and Surveillance Commission, an offshoot of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
It came five days after Maghreb managing editor, Mohammad Mehdi Emami Naseri, and its political editor, Alireza Aghairad, were arrested at the newspaper by officials from the Tehran prosecutor’s officer, who released them on bail the next day pending trial.
Reporters Without Borders has learned that Masoud Kurdpour, a contributor to the Mokeryan news website, was arrested on 8 March after being summoned for interrogation by the intelligence ministry in the northwestern city of Mahabad.
This was one day after his brother, Mokeryan editor Khosro Kurdpour, was arrested at his home in Mahabad for still unknown reasons and was taken to a still unknown place of detention.
Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Etemad journalist Ehssan Mazandarani, who was arrested at his Tehran home by intelligence ministry officials on 20 February, was released on bail yesterday pending trial.
08.03.2013 - Kurdish journalist arrested, newspaper editor and netizen released
Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s arrest of Kurdish journalist Khosro Kurdpour, the editor of the Mokeryan news website. His family said intelligence ministry plainclothes men with a court warrant arrested him at his home in the northwestern city of Mahabad after carrying out a search.
Kurdpour is accused of “publishing reports about the situation of prisoners and human rights.”
Mohammad Mehdi Emami Naseri, the editor of the daily Maghreb, was meanwhile released on bail yesterday in Tehran pending trial.
Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Hanieh Sate Farshi, a netizen detained since July 2010 and sentenced to seven years in prison on 16 April 2011, was released on 24 February because she is very ill.
28.02.2013- One journalist arrested, ten “Black Sunday” detainees freed on bail
Reporters Without Borders has learned that Ehssan Mazandarani, a journalist with the newspaperEtemad, was arrested at his Tehran home on 20 February by intelligence ministry officials, who searched his home and confiscated his computer, hard disks and CDs. Mazandarani was taken to Evin prison.
At the same, Reporters Without Borders is relieved that 10 of the “Black Sunday” detainees have been released during the past 12 days pending trial. They are:
Fatemeh Sagharchi, a journalist with the Jamaran website, freed on 16 February Javad Daliri, the editor of Etemad, freed on 18 February Hossein Yaghchi, a journalist with the weekly Aseman, freed on 20 February Kivan Mehregan, a contributor to various reformist newspapers, freed on 23 February Emily Amrai and Nargus Jodaki of the newspaper Arman, freed on 25 February Akbar Montajabi of the weekly Aseman and Rihaneh Tabtabai of the newspaper Bahar, freed on 26 February Milad Fadai Asl of the news agency ILNA and Porya Alami of the daily Shargh, freed on 27 February.
There were released on bail, which in most cases was set at 200 million toman (about 250,000 euros). Five other victims of the latest wave of arrests are still held. They are Sasan Aghai, Nasrin Takhayori, Saba Azarpik, Pejman Mousavi and Soliman Mohammadi.
Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all the journalists and netizens detained in Iran. Help us to achieve this demand by signing our petition.
13.02.2013- Recently arrested journalist freed on bail
Reporters Without Borders has learned that Ali Dehghan, a journalist with the daily Bahar who was arrested at his home on 30 January in a new crackdown on media personnel, was released on bail on 6 February.
At least 17 journalists have been arrested since 26 January and warrants have been issued for the arrests of others. Only one other is so far known to have been released. It is Motahareh Shafie of the newspaper Arman, who was freed the day after his arrest on 27 January.
Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the conditions in which the 15 other journalists are being held in Evin prison’s Section 209, which is controlled by the intelligence ministry. They are still in solitary confinement and are being denied all their rights, including family visits and access to a lawyer.
22.01.2013-Two journalists get provisional release
Reporters Without Borders has learned that Rahim Sarkar, the editor of the weekly Hadiss Ghazvin, was released provisionally on 11 January pending trial after being held since 25 December. AndMohammad Kimyai, one of the weekly’s reporters, was released on bail of 100 million toman (100,000 euros) on 14 January after being held for two weeks.
11.01.2013-Six-month jail sentence for talking to foreign media
Reporters Without Borders has learned that, Hossein Karoubi, executive director of the banned dailyEtemad Meli and son of its owner, Mehdi Karoubi, was sentenced to six months in prison in July 2012 for talking to foreign media about the mistreatment of prisoners in Kahrizak prison.
He was convicted on a charge of “disseminating false information designed to upset public opinion.”
Normally reserved for non-political prisoners, Kahrizak was used to hold government opponents after the disputed June 2009 presidential elections and several young detainees reportedly died of their injuries after being mistreated.
Etemad Meli was banned on 17 August 2009 for publishing articles about torture and rape in Iranian prisons. Three weeks earlier, on 29 July 2009, Mehdi Karoubi had released an open letter in which he said young detainees were being subjected to grave forms of mistreatment including rape.
04.01.2013- Netizen begins serving two-year jail term, journalist freed
Reporters Without Borders has learned that Sayeed Haeri, a netizen and member of the Human Rights Reporters Committee, was arrested on 12 December after responding to a summons to Tehran’s Evin prison and has begun serving a two-year jail sentence on a charge of anti-government propaganda.
Originally arrested on 20 December 2009, he was released conditionally on 11 March 2010 on bail of 500 million toman (500,000 euros). In September 2010, a Tehran revolutionary court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison and 74 lashes. An appeal court reduced the sentence to two years in prison six months later.
Two other members of the Human Rights Reporters Committee are already in prison. They are Shiva Nazar Ahari, who was arrested on 8 September 2012, and Sayeed Jalali Far, who was arrested on 30 July 2011. Ahari is serving a four-year sentence while Far is serving a three-year sentence.
Reporters Without Borders has also learned that Reza Ansari Rad, a journalist who worked for several reformist news outlets, was released on 15 December after being deemed to have completed a one-year sentence on a charge of anti-government propaganda.
Imposed in 2010, the sentence was upheld by a Tehran appeal court in March 2012 and Rad began serving it on 4 May.