Press freedom violations recounted in real time
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||14 September 2009|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Press freedom violations recounted in real time, 14 September 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4aaf4d19c.html [accessed 30 May 2016]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
14 September 2009 - Human rights lawyer, Shirin Ebadi ally, freed
Mohamed Ali Dadkhah, a human rights lawyer who was arrested in his Tehran office on 8 July, was released yesterday pending trial after paying 500 million toman (450,000 euros) in bail, his lawyer said. Dadkhah, who has defended many journalists and cyber-dissidents, helped Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi set up her Human Rights Defenders Centre.
11 September - Hunger striking journalist released from prison
At his lawyer's request, detained journalist Mohammad Hassin Falahieh Zadeh was allowed out of prison on medical grounds on 9 September, a day after being transferred to the infirmary of Tehran's Evin prison. See the 10 September release.
Reporters Without Borders points out that, since the disputed 12 June presidential election, those in charge of Tehran's Evin prison have not been providing information about the situation of detainees to their families and lawyers.
7 September 2009 - Two journalists freed
Reporters Without Borders has learned that two journalists based in the northwestern city of Mahabad - Hassan Shikh Aghai, a reporter and cartoonist, and Ahamad Bahari, the editor of the monthly Mahabad - were freed on bail at the end of August pending trial. Aghai was arrested on 18 July while Bahari was arrested four days later.
6 September 2009 - Journalists summoned after signing open letter
Reporters Without Borders has learned that 15 journalists who signed an open letter to the new Tehran prosecutor-general have been summoned and threatened by the intelligence ministry.
4 September 2009 - Open letter to new prosecutor-general
Some 320 journalists and media workers have signed an open letter to the new Tehran prosecutor-general, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, calling for the release of detained journalists, permission for closed newspapers to resume publishing, and the reopening of the headquarters of the Journalists Association, closed since 2 July. The letter also urges Dolatabadi to end the repressive policies of his predecessor, Said Mortazavi.
27 August 2009 - Arrests continue despite releases
Fariba Pajooh, a journalist working for reformist newspapers, including Etemad-e Melli, and the news agency INLA, was arrested on 24 August and imprisoned at Evin jail after being summoned to the Teheran Revolutionary Court. She also ran a blog http://www.after-rain.persianblog.ir/.
Lawyer Abdolfatah Soltani, one of the founders of the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights headed by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, who was arrested on 16 June, was released on bail in the sum of 100 million tomans (90,000 euros).
"Mr Soltani was initially accused of casting doubt on the election results, but he contested that such an accusation was a criminal matter", said lawyer Mohammad Seifzadeh. "He was then accused of acting against national security and of making propaganda". "We are hoping that these charges will be dropped, because they are groundless," he added, also expressing hopes for an early release of another member of Mrs Ebadi's organisation, the lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah. Ali Dadkhah was arrested on 8 July, one hour after being contacted by opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mussavi, who asked him to take on the defence of some of his imprisoned supporters.
At least 4,000 people were arrested during the demonstrations that followed the contested re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president on 12 June 2009. According to official figures, more than 300 are still behind bars. Around 160 have been brought before the revolutionary court since 1st August for their involvement in the demonstrations.
"They have cooked up a bizarre and incredible case against Dadkhah, claiming that a weapon and opium were found in his office," said Seifzadeh. "He is innocent and should be freed unconditionally."
24 August 2009 - Blogger Somayeh Tohidloo freed
Somayeh Tohidloo, the editor of the blog SMTO (http://smto.ir), was released on 22 August. She had been held in Section 209 of Tehran's Evin prison after being arrested at her home on 14 June.
20 August 2009 - Online journalist Jila Baniyaghoob freed
Jila Baniyaghoob, the editor of Canon Zeman Irani (http://irwomen.net), a news website that focuses on women's rights, was freed yesterday on payment of 100 million toman (90,000 euros) in bail. This year's winner of the "Courage in Journalism" prize, which is awarded by the International Women's Media Foundation, she was arrested at her home on 20 June together with her husband, Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee, who writes for various pro-reform publications. Although there has been no confirmed news of Amoee since his arrest, Reporters Without Borders has been told he is still in solitary confinement in section 209 of Tehran's Evin prison.
Ahmad Zeydabadi, a journalist who was arrested on 14 June, has been hospitalised because of the effects of a hunger strike he pursued for 17 days. "I was kept in a cell that was like a tomb for 35 days, hearing nothing from outside, seeing no one," Zeydabadi told his family. He only called off the hunger strike because a doctor in Evin prison told him no one knew about it. His family says it is very worried about his state of health.
5 August 2009 - 19:30 - Another arrest
Mehdi Yazdani Khoram, editor of the newspaper Etemad-e Melli's arts and literature section, was arrested on the street by men in plain clothes this evening and was taken to an unknown location. He has a heart condition and was hospitalised last month. He used to work for pro-reform newspapers such as Shargh, Hammihan and Kargozaran, which were closed last year.
5 August 2009 - Two new arrests
Reza Norbakhsh, the editor of the daily Farhikhteghan, was arrested yesterday at his office in Tehran. Two of the newspaper's journalists, Masoud Bastani and Esmail Hagh Parast, were arrested previously.
Mirhamid Hassanzadeh, the editor of the Ghalamnews website (http://www.ghalamnews.ir/), was also arrested yesterday morning at the headquarters of the ISNA news agency, which he used to run.
It is not yet known where either Norbakhsh or Hassanzadeh is being held.
3 August 2009 - Three releases
Fariborez Srosh, a Radio Farda reporter who was arrested on 16 June, was released on 29 June pending trial. Srosh previously spent several months in jail in connection with his work for Radio Farda.
Somaieh Nosrati, a reporter who covers parliament for the newspapers Teheran Emoroz and Hayat No, was freed on bail on 29 July, eight days after being arrested outside her home by intelligence ministry agents.
Mohammad Reza Yazdan Panah, a contributor to the pro-reform newspapers Shargh and Kargozaran (which was shut down in 2008), reported in his blog (http://booyekhaak.blogfa.com/) that he was released on 25 July. He was arrested outside his home on 7 July.
The daily newspaper Khabar Emrooz was unable to print it latest issue because of an article criticising today's ceremony in which the Supreme Leader confirmed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reelection. It is the third time the newspaper has been prevented from bringing out an issue since the 12 June election, when a representative of the Tehran prosecutor general began checking all newspaper articles prior to publication.
31 July 2009
Documentary and film maker Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami was arrested on 29 July. She was detained at the same time as Mahnaz Mohammadi and Jafar Panahi during a demonstration in the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery, south of Teheran, in memory of demonstrators who have been killed in the past few weeks.
30 July 2009
Abdolreza Tajik, reporter on the newspaper Farhikhtegani, who was arrested on 14 June, was released yesterday after putting up bail. The Franco-Iranian journalist, Said Movahedi, who was arrested on 11 July, was freed on 28 July.
Said Shariti, a journalist working for several publications close to the reformist Participation Party, was arrested yesterday on the orders of the state prosecutor Said Mortazavi. He had already been arrested and held for 24 hours on 14 June.
Documentary and film maker, Mahnaz Mohammadi, was arrested on 29 July with the film director Jafar Panahi in the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in the south of the capital, Tehran, where a demonstration was being held in memory of the protestors who have been killed in recent weeks.
Reporters Without Borders has also learned of the arrest on 30 June of Abolfazl Abedini Nasr in the city of Ahvaz, in the south of Iran. He has only been able to get in touch with his family once since then.
28 July 2009 - Journalist released
Journalist and human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr, the joint editor of the Meydaan.com website, was released at 2 p.m. today after her father acted as her guarantor. She is charged with "activity against national security" and participating in the "riots." In an interview, her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaia, said: "Shadi was interrogated while blindfolded for five days following her arrest. The questions had nothing to do with the charges brought against her. And she was in solitary confinement for three days."
24 July 2009 - Seven Kurdish journalists held
Ahamad Bahari, the editor of the monthly Mahabad, was arrested on 22 July in the Kurdish northwestern city of Mahabad. Men in plain clothes searched his office and then took him away. It is not yet known where he is being held.
Bahari was the second Kurdish journalist to be arrested in the past week. Hassan Shikh Aghai was arrested on 18 July in Mahabad. A total of seven Kurdish journalists are now being held in prisons in various parts of Iran.
23 July 2009 - Two releases and a transfer
Two journalists were released today from section 209 of Tehran's Evin prison. One was photographer Tohid Bighi, who works for Mashroteh, a website that supports former presidential candidate Mehedi Karoubi. He was arrested on 11 July. The other was Mojtaba Teherani, who works for the online newspaper Sahamnewes (http://www.etemademelli.ir/). He was arrested on the evening of 27 June.
Omid Salimi, a photographer who used to work for the local newspaper Nesf Jhan, was arrested in the city of Isfahan on 15 June after being summoned by the authorities to recover the equipment that Revolutionary Guards confiscated from him when he was arrested in December 2008. He was transferred from Isfahan prison to Evin prison in Tehran on 18 July.
21 July 2009
Reporters Without Borders has just learned of the arrest of Reza Rafiee Foroshani, a freelance journalist who works for local and international media including The Time Magazine. It has only now been reported that Foroshani was arrested on 26 June in Tehran and that he is being pressured by intelligence ministry agents to make some kind of confession.
Hassan Shikh Aghai, a leading Kurdish columnist and cartoonist, was arrested on 18 July in the city of Mahabad, in Iran's Kurdish northwestern region, and his home was searched. It is not yet known why he was arrested and where he is now being held.
Mehdi Zaboli, a photographer with the newspaper Hamshahri who was arrested on 20 June, was freed on bail on 5 July.
20 July 2009
Kurdish columnist and cartoonist Hassan Shikh Aghai was arrested on 18 July in the city of Mahabad after a search of his home.
It was belatedly reported that Reza Rafiee Foroshani, a freelance journalist who works for local and international media including Time Magazine, was arrested on 26 June in Tehran.
17 July 2009
Plain-clothes agents arrested journalist and human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr, the joint editor of the Meydaan.com website, on 17 July using force and without showing any ID.
More than a million Iranians took to the streets to demonstrate during Friday prayers on 17 July but no local or international journalist was allowed to cover the event.
15 July 2009
Saeed Hajjarian's wife, Vajieh Marsossi, and son were arrested, questioned and charged with "collaborating with counter-revolutionary groups." The wife was released but the son was still being held. Exiled journalist Akbar Ganji, a family friend, said: "The aim of these arrests is to force Saeed Hajjarian to confess but, given his fragile health, it is a crime."
Hajjarian was taken from prison to a hospital on the evening of 3 July
15 July 2009 - 39 journalists detained in Iran
List of the journalists detained since June 12
13 July 2009, Koroush Javan
11 July 2009, Marjan abdolahi
11 July 2009, Satyar Emami
11 July 2009, Majid Saidi
11 July 2009, Tohid Bighi
11 July 2009, Said Movahedi
7 July 2009, Mohammad Reza Yazdan Panah
4 July 2009, Issa Saharkhiz
4 July 2009, Masoud Bastani
29 June 2009, Henghameh Shahidi
27 June 2009, Mojtaba Téhérani
22 June 2009, Esmail Hagh Parast - Farhikhtegan
21 June 2009, Somaieh Nosrati
21 June 2009, Maziar Bahari - Newsweek
20 June 2009, Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee
20 June 2009, Jila Baniyaghoob - http://irwomen.net
20 June 2009, Mehdi Zabouli - Hamshahri
18 June 2009, Mohammad Ghochani - Etemad Meli
17 June 2009, Saide Lylaz - Sarmayeh
16 June 2009, Fariborez Srosh
15 June 2009, Mohamad Atryanfar - Hamshary, Shargh, Shahrvand Emrouz
15 June 2009, Saeed Hajjarian - Ex-editor of Sobh-e-Emrouz
14 June 2009, Ahmad Zeydabadi
14 June 2009, Kivan Samimi Behbani
14 June 2009, Abdolreza Tajik
14 June 2009, Mahssa Amrabad
Bloggers detained since June 12
09 July 2009, Kaveh Mzafari
16 June 2009, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, "Blogging Mullah" - http://www.webneveshteha.com
14 June 2009, Somayeh Tohidloo - http://smto.ir
14 June 2009, Shiva Nazar Ahari - http://azadiezan.blogspot.com
List of journalists arrested before June 12 and still detained
26 April 2009, Sajad Khaksari - Galam Moalem
18 November 2008, Bahman Totonchi - Karfto
7 August 2008, Massoud Kurdpoor - journaliste indépendant
1st July 2007, Mohammad Sadegh Kabovand - Payam-e mardom-e Kurdestan
25 January 2007, Adnan Hassanpour - Asou
18 December 2006, Kaveh Javanmard - Karfto
1st November 2006, Mohammad Hassin Falahieh Zadeh - Alalam
Bloggers detained before June 12
29 November 2008, Mojtaba Lotfi
1st November 2008, Hossein Derakhshan (http://www.hoder.com)
10 June - cyber-dissident arrested outside Tehran home
Kaveh Mozafari, a dissident journalist who writes for various websites, was arrested yesterday by men in plain-clothes as he was returning to his Tehran home with his ailing mother-in-law. The men threatened his mother-in-law as they took him away.
Arrested during demonstrations on 1 May in Tehran, Mozafari had been released just two weeks ago, on 24 June, after paying 50 million toman (45,000 euros) in bail.
9 July 2009 - Arrest of human rights lawyer, ally of Nobel peace laureate
Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrest of Mohamed Ali Dadkhah, a lawyer who represents many journalists and cyber-dissidents and who, together with Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, helped to set up the Human Rights Defenders Centre. He was arrested yesterday at his Tehran office along with several colleagues. There has been no word of them since then.
Mohammad Reza Yazdan Panah, a journalist who writes for the pro-reform newspapers Shargh, Kargozaran (closed by the authorities in 2008), Hammihan and Farhikhtegan and who keeps a blog (http://booyekhaak.blogfa.com/), was arrested at his Tehran home on 7 July and was taken to an unknown location.
"The authorities claim that they have released most of the people who were arrested during the opposition demonstrations but we can see that the arrests are continuing," Reporters Without Borders said.
Mostafa Ghavnlo Ghajar, a journalist who was arrested at his home at midnight on 22 June, was released on 6 July. He writes for various newspapers, acts as Radio Goftogo's "foreign media" specialist and keeps a blog (http://www.ghajar.ir/).
According to the Reporters Without Borders tally, a total of 35 journalists and bloggers are currently in prison in Iran.
6 July 2009
Reporters Without Borders has meanwhile learned that journalist Masoud Bastani was arrested on 4 July while trying to visit his wife, fellow journalist Massa Amrabadi, in Evin prison. Amrabadi was arrested on 14 June despite being pregnant.
Issa Saharkhiz, a pro-reform journalist and former editor of Aftab (a magazine suspended in 2004) and Eghtesah (a newspaper suspended in 2005), was also arrested on 4 July. He was beaten at the time of his arrest, which took place at his home. His family has had no word of him since then.
Reporters Without Borders welcomes yesterday's release of Iason Athanasiadis-Foden, a British-Greek journalist employed by the Washington Times who was arrested at Tehran airport on 19 June as he was about to leave the country. Confirming his detention on 23 June, Iranian foreign minister Hassan Qashqavi said he was arrested for "reasons conflicting with journalism and in relation with the recent street riots."
As far as Reporters Without Borders knows, he is the only non-Iranian journalist to have been jailed since the 12 June Iranian elections.
2 July 2009 - Intelligence ministry bans meeting of journalists
The authorities banned a meeting of journalists that the Association of Iranian Journalists had called for today to "protest against the arrests of journalists and against the military and security climate now reigning in the country." The association sent the invitations out last week.
The association sent a second message telling journalists that the meeting had been cancelled for their own safety. The message also urged the judicial authorities, especially the Tehran prosecutor general, to respect the law and to change their practices as regards journalists and the news media.
30 June 2009 - 10am - Guardian website
Check the Guardian website that aims to put a face to each of those hundreds - possibly thousands - killed or arrested since the Iranian election.
30 June 2009 - 9 am. Mojtaba Pormohssen, journalist on several reformist papers, contributor to radio Zamaneh and editor of the newspaper Gilan Emroz, arrested in Rashat in the north of the country on June 15th, was released on June 29.
29 June 2009 - 4pm. More journalists arrested, while others released
Reporters Without Borders has learned that Kambiz Norrozi, the head of the Association of Iranian Journalists' legal committee, was arrested on 28 June and that Farhikhtegan journalist Esmail Hagh Parast was arrested on 22 June. Mojtaba Teherani, a journalist with the website Sahamnewes (http://www.etemademelli.ir/), was arrested on the evening of 27 June as he was leaving the newspaper. Intelligence ministry agents searched his home the next day, confiscating his computer and CD-Rom archives.
Other journalists and Association of Iranian Journalists representatives were summoned for questioning last week by the Tehran revolutionary court or the intelligence ministry, including Badrolssadat Mofidi, the association's secretary-general, and Mashallah Shamsolvazein, its spokesperson. Although interrogated, they were not detained.
Reporters Without Borders has learned of the release of more than 20 journalists and media assistants. Alireza Behesti, who works with opposition presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, and 22 employees of the newspaper Kalemeh Sabz, who were arrested on 22 June, were freed yesterday. Three of the newspaper's news editors are still detained.
Karim Arghandeh, who writes for the pro-reform newspapers Salam and Vaghieh Etafaghieh and keeps a blog (http://www.futurama.ir/), was also released yesterday. Until then, there had been no news of him since 14 June.
26 June - 2pm.
Reporters Without Borders has learned of the arrest on 20 June of Mehdi Zabouli, journalist and photographer on the daily Hamshahri. He was injured during demonstrations following the disputed re-election of the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and taken to hospital. Other patients were arrested on the same day.
25 June 12.30pm.
President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pottering, said he planned to go to Iran, in response to an invitation from Nobel Peace Prize laureat, Shirin Ebadi. She told Reporters Without Borders, "At all the meetings I have had with officials from from the European Union, I demanded that they condemn the massive human rights violations in Iran. I also urged the UN Secretary General to send an investigative mission to the country. I insist on the fact that this is not a political conflict, but a fresh instance of mass human rights violations in Iran."
24 June - 3pm. Two journalists, who were arrested on 16 June in the city of Bushehr in the south-west of Iran, Hamideh Mahhozi and Hossin Shkohi were released two days later, the organisation learned.
49 journalists, arrested since June 12, are still behind bars. With a total of 59 journalists in prison, Iran now has more journalists in jail than any other country in the world, ahead of China and Cuba.
24 June - 11am. Arresting an entire editorial staff is totally unprecedented!
All 25 staff on the newspaper Kalemeh Sabz, including around 20 journalists, were arrested on June 22. The paper, owned by opposition presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Moussavi, stopped publishing on 13 June although it was not officially banned. It had intended to resume appearing and to bring out a new issue on 23 June but on the evening of 22 June, plain clothes agents from Tehran's prosecutor's office surrounded the building and arrested everyone inside. The editor, Alireza Behshtipour Shirazi, and his son were also arrested the same evening. Minutes before his arrest Shirazi had confirmed the earlier arrest of his entire staff, in an interview with German radio Deutsche Welle.
23 June - 3pm.
Iasol Athanasiadis, Greek-British journalist on the Washington Times was arrested at the airport on June 2009.
23 juin - 12am.
The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, on 23 June urged the Iranian authorities to respect fundamental civil and political rights, including freedom of expression, the right to inform the public and of free assembly.
23 June - 11am.
Mostafa Ghavnlo Ghajar, a contributor to several newspapers and a specialist on foreign media on Radio Goftogo (see his blog : http://www.ghajar.ir/), was arrested at midnight on June 22 at his place.
Freelance journalist Fariborez Srosh was also reportedly arrested on 16 June. He has been imprisoned in the past because of his work with Radio farda (Radio Free Europe).
21 June - 3pm.
In the afternoon of 21 June, the BBC correspondent, Jon Leyne, has been ordered to leave the country within 24 hours. Officials accused him of "supporting rioters". The authorities had previously accused Britain of "conspiring" against Iran.
Correspondent for Newsweek, Maziar Bahari, arrested at 7am by security forces at his home on June 21 at 7am.
20 June - 3pm.
Ali Mazroui, president of the Iranian Association of journalists, arrested on June 20 in the morning.
Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee and his wife Jila Baniyaghoob arrested at their home on June 20at midnight, following a search by plain clothes agents of the intelligence ministry. Winner in 2009 of the Courage in Journalism prize, awarded by the International Women's Media Foundation, Jila Baniyaghoob is head of a feminist news website Canon Zeman Irani (http://irwomen.net). Her husband Bahaman Ahamadi Amoee, works for several pro-reformist publications. .
19 June - 5pm.
Mohammad Ghochani, editor of the daily Etemad Meli, owner of Mehdi Karoubi, one of the candidates opposing Mahmoud Ahamadinejad in the presidential elections, arrested in Tehran on June 18 at 2am.
19 June - 3 pm.
Saide Lylaz, a business reporter for the newspaper Sarmayeh who has been very critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies, was arrested at his home in Tehran on June 17. His wife said she did not know where he had been taken.
Rohollah Shassavar, a journalist based in the city of Mashad, was also arrested on June 17.
19 June - 11 am. At least five more journalists arrested in provincial cities
It has emerged that four journalists were arrested in the southern city of Boshehr on 16 June:
Amanolah Shojai, who is also a blogger
Hossin Shkohi, who works for the weekly Paygam Jonob
Several journalists and bloggers were among those arrested in the northern city of Rashat on 15 June. They include Mojtaba Pormohssen, who writes for several pro-reform newspapers, hosts a programme on radio Zamaneh and edits the newspaper Gilan Emroz. He was transferred yesterday to Lakan prison in Rashat.
17 June - 3 pm. Revolutionary Guard warns news websites
The Revolutionary Guard's Organised Crime Surveillance Centre has written to the editors of websites ordering them to suppress "content inviting the population to riot and spreading threats and rumours." Carrying today's date, the communiqué says there have been "several cases of websites and personal blogs posting articles inciting disturbance of public order and inviting the population to rebel."
The communiqué continues: "These sites, created with the help of American and Canadian companies, receive the support of media that are protected by the American and British security services such as the BBC, Radio Farda (Free Europe) and Radio Zamaneh."
The Surveillance Centre adds that it will reveal important information in the coming days about these "destructive networks."
In a communiqué last March, the Surveillance Centre announced for the first time that it had been trying to dismantle one of these "networks." Several of its young editors were arrested and their "confessions" were released a few days later. As well as admitting to creating pornographic websites to "mislead" Iranian youth, they said their activities had been orchestrated by Americans and Israelis and that they had been paid well. Some of the sites concerned were pornographic, but other criticised Islam, religion and the regime.
17 June - 1 pm. Two new arrests
Saide Lylaz, a business reporter for the newspaper Sarmayeh, who had been very critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies, is arrested at his home in Tehran. His wife says she does not know where he has been taken.
It is reported that Mohamad Atryanfar, the publisher of several newspapers including Hamshary, Shargh and Shahrvand Emrouz, was arrested on 15 June and was taken to the security wing of Evin prison.
Reporters Without Borders has meanwhile received reports of many detainees being mistreated.
16 June - 6pm. Aldolfatah Soltani arrested
Aldolfatah Soltani, a lawyer who represents many imprisoned journalists and who is a member of the Human Rights Defenders Centre, is arrested on the orders of the Tehran revolutionary court and is probably taken to the security wing at Tehran's Evin prison. Ten or so opposition activists, politicians and civil society figures have been arrested in the course of the day in Tehran and three other major cities - Tabriz, Ispahan, and Shiraz.
16 June - 4 pm. Foreign media forbidden to cover "illegal" demonstrations
The minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Mohammad Sfar Harandi, announces that "foreign news media are forbidden to attend or cover demonstrations that have been organised without the interior ministry's permission."
In practice, the authorities have been trying to prevent foreign journalists from covering the street protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's announced reelection "victory" since 13 June.
Reporter Yolanda Alvarez of Spanish state radio and TV broadcaster RTVE was expelled with all of her crew on 15 June. The Iranian authorities "asked us to leave the country today," she said in a telephone interview for RTVE. "We are unwanted observers (¦) they want to eliminate every kind of foreign media presence (¦) the streets were totally taken over by anti-riot troops yesterday (¦) If there hasn't been any repression until now, it's because they knew that we, the foreign journalists, were there."
A member of a TV crew working for Italian state broadcaster RAI, a Reuters reporter and a France 3 journalist have been physically attacked by members of the security forces in Tehran. A BBC crew was threatened by police until demonstrators chased the police away. The correspondents of German TV stations ARD and ZDF were forbidden to leave their hotel rooms on 13 June. Two Dutch journalists working for the Nederland 2 TV station and a Belgian TV crew working for RTBF were arrested and expelled.
16 June - 3 pm. Well-known "Blogging Mullah" jailed
It is reported that Mohammad Ali Abtahi, also known as the "Blogging Mullah," was arrested this morning at his Tehran home. A vice-president during Mohammad Khatami's presidency, he had been acting as an adviser to Mehdi Karoubi, one of the opposition candidates in last week's presidential election. The news of his arrest is posted on his blog Webneveshteh (http://www. Webneveshteha.com/). He is the second well-known blogger to be arrested since the election. The first was Somayeh Tohidloo (http://smto.ir), arrested on 14 June.
16 June - Former newspaper editor arrested
It is reported that, although seriously disabled, Saeed Hajjarian was arrested at his Tehran home during the night. Following Khatami's election as president in 1997, Hajjarian was editor of the now-closed daily Sobh-e-Emrouz, which supported Khatami's reforms. After the newspaper exposed the involvement of intelligence officials in a series of murders of dissident intellectuals and journalists in 1998, he was the victim of a murder attempt in March 2000 that left him badly paralysed. He is seen as one of the strategists of the pro-reform movement.