Friday, September 12, 2008, Thursday September 11 2008: Tehran targets journalists

The Iranian authorities are cracking down on media freedom, especially reporters who dare to cover the persecution of ethnic minorities

Peter Tatchell,, Thursday September 11 2008 20:00 BST
Article history
The escalating persecution of journalists in Iran is symptomatic of the regime's fundamental weakness, despite its macho posturing and tyrannical repression.

President Ahmadinejad and his clerical cronies are afraid. They have concluded that censorship of the media is necessary to save their ugly regime. They are also prepared to jail and, in some cases, execute reporters who dare to tell the truth about their tyranny.

In one sense, Ahmadinejad is right. The truth is dangerous. If Iranians knew about the massive scale of human rights abuses by their government it would arouse huge popular discontent.

For this reason, Tehran is determined to keep people in the dark. It dare not allow the open flow of news and information. Such openness would reveal the full extent of its savage misrule, including the torture of students, arrest of trade union leaders, beating of peaceful protesters and suppression of women's rights campaigners.

Much of Ahmadinejad's most brutal suppression is heaped on the country's minority nationalities, such as the Arabs, Balochs and Kurds. Most Iranians would be aghast if they knew about the barbarism of Tehran's ethnic persecution. Knowing the facts could spark an uprising. That's why Ahmadinejad is clamping down.

Six of the seven journalists currently in prison in Iran are of Kurdish or Arab origin. The latest reporter to fall foul of Tehran's information management and repression is the leading Ahwazi Arab journalist Yousef Azizi Bani Torouf. According to Iran Human Rights Voice and Reporters Without Borders, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment on charges of "acting against national security", "incitement to rebellion" and "relations with foreign officials". These charges relate to his condemnation of the extreme, often indiscriminate, state violence used to crush the mass protests of the anti-government Ahwazi intifada of April 2005.

Azizi's lawyer, Saleh Nickbakht states that his trial was unfair and that "the alleged charge against him is incompatible with the facts and reality."

Azizi is a highly acclaimed writer and has had numerous books published in both Arabic and Farsi, with a particular focus on the Arab peoples of Iran's south-west province of Khuzestan (known by the Arabs as al-Ahwaz). He is a board member of the Iranian Writers Association.

Some hardliners within the Tehran regime have falsely accused him of supporting independence for the Arab population, who comprise a majority in Khuzestan. Azizi has, in fact, repeatedly stated that the "Arabs of Khuzestan, as a nation or an ethnic group (or whatever you like to call it), are inseparable parts of the Iranian nation."

Azizi was originally arrested on April 25 2005, 10 days after the mass demonstrations that swept Khuzestan in protest against Tehran's quasi-colonialist impoverishment and ill-treatment of the Arab population, which I helped expose in an article for Labour's leftwing weekly Tribune magazine.

He was, at the time of this intifada, living in Tehran. His arrest came after he had spoken out against the regime's brutal suppression of the protests at a press conference attended by lawyer and human rights defender Shirin Ebadi.

Iranian police and soldiers had shot dead scores of unarmed Ahwazi Arab civilians. Azizi called for a halt to the bloodshed. Other prominent Arabs, including former Majlis member Jasem Tamimi Shadidzadeh, also condemned the state violence against Arab protesters.
After spending 65 days in the notorious Evin prison, during time which he staged a hunger strike with other inmates, Azizi was temporarily released on a 1bn rial bail.

President Ahmadinejad's regime has now decided to imprison him, amid a general clampdown on journalists and media that don't toe the strict pro-government line. This clampdown has led to the temporary closure of even some of the conservative media, including the Baztab website and the semi-official Fars News Agency. They were accused by the state censors of publishing material that was supposedly critical of President Ahmadinejad.

Although Azizi has been sentenced to only five years imprisonment, his life is in danger. Other journalists have found that once convicted, they are often subsequently charged with further crimes, until the regime can ensure that they either are jailed for life or executed.
One notable example of this tactic was Yaghub Mehrnahad, a 28-year-old journalist, human rights and cultural activist from Iran's oppressed Baloch minority. His crime? Criticising the Persian supremacist regime's mistreatment of the Baloch ethnic group.

Mehrnahad was the founder of the Sedaye Edalat (Voice of Justice) non-governmental organisation, which was recognised and registered by the Iranian government. It organised events such as music concerts and educational courses for young Balochs. However, Ahmadinejad's men claimed Mehrnahad had links with the Baloch resistance group, Jundullah (Army of God).

Amnesty International was one of the many human rights organisations urging clemency and appealing for Mr Mehrnahad's release. Their pleas were ignored. He was subjected to escalating charges and months of torture. Eventually, he was sentenced to death and executed last month.

There are fears that Azizi is likely to share the same fate as Mehrnahad, unless his sentence and conviction are quashed.

A similar case is the imprisonment of Mohammad Sadiq Kabudvand, Kurdish journalist on June 22 this year, on charges of "acting against national security." This charge was in response to his Kurdish rights writing and activism. He is
chair of the Kurdish Human Rights Organization (RMMK) and was also the editor of Payam-e Mardom-e Kurdestan (Kurdistan People's Message), a weekly published in Kurdish and Persian, which was banned on June 27 2004 after only 13 issues for "disseminating separatist ideas and publishing false reports." He was originally given an 18 month suspended sentence but, following months of torture in Section 209 of Evin Prison, this sentence has been progressively lengthened to 11 years jail. Kabudvand's life is now also in danger. There are fears that he, too, will soon face capital charges.

Several other Iranian-Kurdish journalists are currently detained, including Kaveh Javanmard, Adnan Hassanpour, Abdulvahed Butimar and Ejlal Qavami.

Adnan Hassanpour was sentenced to death last year at a secret revolutionary court hearing, which was a travesty of justice, according to human rights defenders. He is a journalist and former editor of the now-defunct Kurdish-Persian weekly "Aso" in Iran's north-western province of Kurdistan. In a rare victory for justice, his death sentence was overturned. But now he is being retried on the capital charges of espionage and working with outlawed parties.

In Ahmadinejad's paranoid mindset, even green campaigners and writers are now deemed a threat to national security. The Iranian-Kurdish environmental activist and journalist, Abdulvahed Butimar, was convicted and sentenced to death at the same time as Hassanpour. His sentence, like Hassanpour's, related to a charge of taking up arms against the Iranian state. Despite a flawed and biased trial, Butimar remains on death row, awaiting execution.

You can help save Iran's jailed journalists. Email your appeals for their release to:

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Eminence Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei: and and

The Honourable Chief Justice, His Eminence Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi: and

Iranian President, His Excellency Dr Mahmood Ahmadinejad:

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Iran: Political prisoners continue their hunger strike

AKI: "Tehran, 8 Sept. (AKI) - Fifty-four political prisoners are continuing their two-week long hunger strike in five different prisons across the country.

The prisoners are demanding the abolition of the death penalty for so-called intellectual and political crimes, and trials in open court, attended by defendants and their lawyers.

Four of the prisoners have been sentenced to death, and most are ethnic Kurds.

Award-winning journalist Adnan Hassanpour, who has been sentenced to death in two separate trials, is taking part in the hunger strike.

He is to be given a re-trial, his lawyer announced last week."

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

CPJ: Court overturns death sentence but journalist faces espionage charges

New York,September 5, 2008 Prosecutors should drop all charges against Iranian journalist Adnan Hassanpour, whose death sentence was overturned Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

A court of appeal overturned the sentence against Adnan Hassanpour, a journalist and former editor for the now-defunct Kurdish-Persian weekly Aso in Iran’s northwestern province of Kurdistan, local journalists told CPJ. He will face a new trial on charges of “working for outlawed parties” and espionage, a local journalist told CPJ. Salih Nikbakht, Hassanpour’s lawyer, confirmed the new charges to BBC Persian on Wednesday.

A revolutionary court convicted Hassanpour of “fighting with God” (Moharebeh) in a closed trial last year, according to The Associated Press. Iranian Kurdish environmental activist Abdulvahed Butimar was also convicted and sentenced to death. He remains in jail.

“We are relieved that Adnan Hassanpour is no longer under the threat of execution,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “But we are shocked that he continues to face legal charges as a result of his critical journalism.”

Nikbakht told Radio Farda, a U.S.-backed Farsi-language radio station based in Prague and Washington, that his client signed a 148-page confession unrelated to the charges he currently faces.

“He didn’t go into details about the confessions, but he said he had agreed to whatever [the interrogators] wrote because he had been under pressure,” a local journalist who met with Hassanpour last week told CPJ.

A local journalist told CPJ that although Hassanpour is no longer at risk of being hanged, he could face up to 20 years in prison, a sentence commonly given after a commuted death sentence.

Hassanpour worked as an editor for nearly two years at Aso. The weekly was banned in August 2005 following its coverage of violent protests in the Kurdistan area that summer. He had mostly written about poverty and other social issues. On January 25, 2007, he was arrested by security agents in his hometown of Marivan, in Kurdistan province, according to news reports and international human rights organizations.

© 2008 Committee to Protect Journalists.  E-mail:

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Supreme court quashes death sentence against Adnan Hassanpour : Reporters Without Borders calls for his release and dismissal of the case

Reporters Without Borders today welcomed with great relief the ruling by the Tehran Supreme Court overturning a death sentence against Kurdish journalist Adnan Hassanpour because of a procedural error.

The court decided that the journalist, who had been convicted of “subversive activities against national security”, could not be considered as a “mohareb” (an enemy of God) and sent his case back to the lower court in Sanandaj, in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Hassanpour, 26, was arrested outside his home on 25 January 2007 and was imprisoned in Mahabad jail (Kurdistan). He worked for the weekly Asou covering Kurdish issues, a highly sensitive subject in Iran, until it was banned by the Culture and Islamic Orientation Ministry in August 2005. He also contributed to foreign media such as Voice of America and Radio Farda, broadcasting to Iran in Persian.

He was being held at the central jail in Sanandaj and had twice gone on hunger strike in protest at the harsh prison conditions.

“We welcome this ruling by the Iranian justice system with great relief,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “It is now time to free this journalist who has been through agony since his arrest more than 18 months ago.”

“There was never any evidence of his guilt, but despite this, the judges in the case have twice decided to sentence him to death. This judicial hounding of independent journalists and those working for foreign media has got to stop,” the organisation said.

His lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, told Reporters Without Borders of his satisfaction at the outcome. “I just hope that the courts will not make the same mistake again”, he said. He added that one of the judges at the court in Sanandaj, who presided at Hassanpour’s trial, had since been sacked. A new trial is due to open before the Sanandaj lower court on 6 September 2008.

In another case, The Commission for Press Authorisation and Surveillance, headed by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Orientation, on 13 August 2008 cancelled the licence of two weekly newspapers. The ecological magazine Tarabestan Sabaz, press organ of an activist body of the same name published in Tehran for ten years, was shut down by the authorities. Entertainment newspaper Sargarmi, specialising in crosswords, was closed for “publishing inappropriate comments” after the newspaper carried a page of texts from readers some of which included humorous messages about Iranian political leaders.

Reporters Without Borders defends imprisoned journalists and press freedom throughout the world. It has nine national sections (Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). It has representatives in Bangkok, London, New York, Tokyo and Washington. And it has more than 120 correspondents worldwide. 

© Reporters Without Borders 2008

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Friday, August 29, 2008

“At 1:00 pm, a group of the Pasdars(the Iranian Revolutionary Guard) arrived to the village Qarna. At first look, they found nobody as everybody ran away toward the mountains or tried to be hidden somewhere. Then Guards started to search the houses one after another so they could find the hidden ones. Some of those citizens were killed right in front of their houses. The others were shot or beheaded in the mosque. Then they dragged the dead bodies by their trucks and cars to the Naqadeh and show the bodies to the town of Naqadeh. Most of victims were children, disabled and old people. They were all unarmed and innocent. They beheaded even the only clergy in the village.”
This Happened on Sept 2nd 1980 in a Kurdish village, 12 Kilometer far from Naqadeh in Iran.
Nobody out of Iran ever heard of this massacre. Even inside of Iran rather than the local people, hardly heard of it. Those Pasdars never charged for their crimes or nor got punished for what they did in Qarna. Instead, they got prized and promoted for that genocide.
These kind of crimes kept continue since back then in many ways. Now there are 8 civil rights activists, journalists and teachers are sentenced to death on charge of being Mohareb (fighter against God). Their lives are in danger. According to the recent news, Kurdish political prisoners in Iran, since Monday 25 August 2008, began an indefinite hunger strike to protest those sentences and huge human rights violation in Iranian Kurdistan.

The following eight Kurdish journalists and civil rights activists have been condemned to death in Iran:

  1. Adnan Hassanpour, journalist, also the award-winning journalist who has been condemned to death. Adnan was awarded a media award in Italy by the Information, Safety & Freedom Association, death penalty
  2. Hiva Botimar, civil rights activist and journalist, death penalty
  3. Farzad Kamangar, civil rights and human rights activist, death penalty
  4. Anvar Hossein Panahi, teacher and civil rights activist, death penalty
  5. Farhad Vakili, civil rights activist, death penalty
  6. Ali Hardarian, civil rights activist, death penalty
  7. Arsalan Olyaei, civil rights activist, death penalty
  8. Habib Latifi, student, civil rights activist, death penalty
While another seven have been sentenced to penalties up to 11 years for their alleged Civil Rights activists. Mohammad Sadigh Kaboudvand, Human Rights activist- 11 years- Hana Abdi, Women Rights activist- 5 years- Zainab Bayazidi, Women Rights activist- 4 years- Fatemeh Goftari, Women Rights activist- 19 months- Amir Reza Ardalan, Student - 1 year - Ali Shakeri, Student, 2 and half years - Sohrab Jalali, Civil Rights activist, in spending his charge and deportation to Kashmar.
The prisoner’s hunger strike is to "sensitize Iranian and international public opinion" to "protest against the death sentences given to Kurdish representatives and to denounce continuing human rights violations in prison and outside prison”. If the world was unaware of what happened to Qarna, now with the tools of media there is no excuse for not being informed of what is going on in Iran. We shouldn’t be silent anymore. We should do anything we can to keep their lives safe. This is our responsibility to notify this to all international communities.
We are asking you to help them to stop these executions.
We will get together at 13:00 h, on Aug 29th in front of international crime court in The Hague in order to protest against the death penalty of these 8 journalists and asking the ICC to prosecute the Iranian crime against Kurds victims.

Day and time:
Friday 29 August 2008
1:00 pm
Place :
International criminal court(ICC)
Maanweg, 174
2516 AB, The Hague
The Netherlands
Campaign: Stop Kurd Execution in Iran
Kurds Human Rights Network

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

AKI - Adnkronos international Iran: Jailed Kurds begin hunger strike

Tehran, 25 August (AKI) - Kurdish prisoners, all jailed for political motives in Iran, on Monday began an indefinite hunger strike to promote human rights.

The news, released by the Kurdish agency, Mokrian, was confirmed by the sister of Adnan Hassanpour, the award-winning journalist who has been condemned to death.

Hassanpour was awarded
a media award in Italy by the Information, Safety & Freedom Association.

The prisoners' hunger strike is to "sensitise Iranian and international public opinion" to "protest against the death sentences given to

Kurdish representatives" and to "denounce continuing human rights violations in prison and outside prison".

Eight Kurdish intellectuals and activists have been condemned to death in Iran, while another six have been sentenced to penalties of up to 11 years for their alleged political and militant activities.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

IRAN: Journalist held for two weeks without charge

New York, August 12, 2008The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Iranian authorities to make public any charges against a Kurdish journalist and human rights activist who they have held for more than two weeks, or release him immediately.

On July 27, security forces arrested Saman Rasoulpour, 23, a Kurdish journalist and a member of Organization for the Defense of Human Rights in Kurdistan, in his home in Mahabad, a Kurdish city in northwest Iran, according to local journalists and international news and human rights agencies. He was picked up by three casually dressed men at 9 a.m. and has been detained in Mahabad’s security office since then, local journalists told CPJ.

Rasoulpour is a regular contributor to Rooz Online, a Farsi and English reformist news Web site. Rasoulpour has written about the lack of human rights for Iran’s minority Kurds. In his last article published on Rooz Online in January 28, Rasoulpour reported on a statement by human rights organizations on the death of a detainee—university student Ibrahim Lutfullahiin Sanandaj, capital of Kordestan Province. The authorities had claimed that the detainee had committed suicide, but the organizations and activists were suspicious of the claim and asked for investigation.

“Saman Rasoulpour’s arrest has been shrouded in secrecy. We fear that he is being held for his critical reporting on human rights in Iran,” said CPJ Senior Program Coordinator Joel Campagna. “We call on the Iranian authorities to state why they are holding him and either charge him with a recognizable offense or release him immediately.”

Local journalists told CPJ that Rasoulpour is not legally entitled to a lawyer until he is formally charged.

They also said that they believe his detention is because of his journalism and activism, but one colleague added that “he was always careful about what he was publishing” in terms of not crossing legal lines. Two who have been following the case said Rasoulpour has not been charged yet.

The arrest came two days after a peaceful demonstration in Mahabad to show solidarity with journalists and activists Adnan Hassanpour, 26, and Abdolvahed (Hiwa) Boutimar, 31, who have been on death row since an Islamic tribunal sentenced them in July 2007. They have been convicted of Moharebeh (fighting with God), which, in the Iranian Islamic penal code, is a charge used against persons who allegedly take up arms to violently overthrow the regime.

Local sources told CPJ that Rasoulpour had not participated in the demonstration. His family has been allowed to contact him only once since his detention, journalists told CPJ.

Rasoulpour had been detained for six months without charge in 2006, local journalists told CPJ.

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Iran: Kurdish student sentenced to death

Iran: Kurdish student sentenced to death

Tehran, 13 August (AKI) - An Iranian court has sentenced to death a Kurdish student, Habibollah Latifi, his lawyer Nemat Ahmadi announced late on Tuesday.

Latifi is the third Iranian Kurd to receive a death sentence in less than a month in hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's ongoing campaign against ethnic minorities.

In late July, two teachers, Anwar Hossein Panahi and Arsalan Oliaii were also handed death sentences.

Six Iranian Kurds are now on death row, including award-winning journalist Adnan Hassanpour.

All have been convicted of 'endangering state security' and 'relations with illegal political organisations'.

Prominent Arab journalist Yousef Bani Azizi on Monday was sentenced to five years in prison and last week a young Baloch journalist, Yaghoub Mehrnad was hanged.

Four female Kurdish activists are currently in prison.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Kurdish freelancer arrested two days after show of Kurdish solidarity with two detained journalists

Kurdish freelance journalist Saman Rasoulpour was arrested yesterday at his home in Mahabad, in Iran’s predominantly Kurdish northwest, two days after some 200 Kurds staged a peaceful demonstration in Mahabad to demand the overturning of the death sentences imposed on journalists Adnan Hassanpour and Abdolvahed “Hiva” Botimar, and Kurdish teacher Farzad Kamangar.

“We call on the authorities to explain why they arrested Rasoulpour and we demand his immediate release,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge the local authorities to stop harassing Kurdish journalists and to rescind the orders that have closed many Kurdish publications.”

Aged 23, Rasoulpur writes for several newspapers and is a member of the executive committee of the Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights in Kurdistan. He was arrested at his home by intelligence ministry agents who confiscated many documents and took him way to an unknown location.

Hassanpour, 28, and Botimar, 30, were sentenced to death on 16 July 2007 by a revolutionary court in the Kurdish city of Marivan on charges of “subversive activities against national security,” spying and “separatist propaganda.” Their convictions were overturned by the supreme court in Tehran on procedural grounds but a Marivan court reimposed Botimar’s death sentence in April of this year while Hassanpour is awaiting a new trial.

A revolutionary court in Tehran has meanwhile sentenced Mohammad Sadegh Kabovand, the former editor of Payam-e Mardom-e Kurdestan (a Kurdish weekly closed in 2004), to 11 years in prison for creating a human rights organisation in Iran’s Kurdish northwest. He has been held in the capital’s Evin prison since his arrest in July 2007. The sentence was issued on 22 June.

Journalist Sedigh Minai of the weekly Asou, was released today after being held for 21 days. He was arrested on 2 July after responding to a summons from prosecutors in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Iran upholds death sentence for Kurdish activist


13 April 2008

TEHERAN - Iran has upheld a death sentence for a Kurdish activist convicted of links to an outlawed separatist group after the supreme court quashed the original hanging verdict, his lawyer said on Sunday.

“A revolutionary court in the town of Marivan has sentenced Hiva Botimar to death for the second time after the supreme court quashed its first verdict and ordered a new trial,” lawyer Saleh Nikbakht told AFP.

He said the court in western Kordestan province had found 31-year-old environmental activist Botimar guilty of “moharebeh” (being an enemy of god) and having ties with Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Nikbakht said the court cited as evidence of guilt hundreds of bullets found in Botimar’s possession which he had recovered from an abandoned army camp in a Kordestan village when he was 14.

“The court gave its ruling regardless of the army’s official explanations,” the lawyer said, adding that he had 20 days to appeal the verdict against his client who has been in jail since December 2006.

In a separate ruling, the supreme court has quashed a death sentence against another Kurdish man accused of espionage and imprisoned since January 2007, Nikbakht said.

Adnan Hassanpour, 26, who briefly worked as a journalist for a local publication in Kordestan province, “was approached by some political people to gather information about military sites,” the lawyer said.

“He has denied any systematic ties with outlawed political groups,” Nikbakht said, adding that he awaited a judiciary ruling for a retrial.

The death sentences were in July 2007 condemned in Europe and raised the concern of press and human rights watchdogs.

But Nikbakht said the charges against Hassanpour were unrelated to his journalistic work.

Iran has been battling separatist rebels of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), which is linked to the PKK, in its western Kurdish-populated areas.

Tehran has repeatedly accused the United States of seeking to stir up ethnic unrest by providing material support to PJAK, which has bases in northeastern neighbouring Iraq.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

AKI - Adnkronos international Iran: Young Beluchi journalist condemned to death

Iran: Young Beluchi journalist condemned to death

Tehran, 12 Feb. (AKI) - Yaghoub Mehrnahad, a student and journalist from the Beluchi ethnic group, is the latest person to be condemned to death in Iran.

The trial against Mehrnahad took place behind closed doors on Monday without legal representation or his family.

According to the student site of the Amir Kabir University of Technology in Tehran, the young journalist was arrested last April at the end of a debate organised in Zahewdan, capital of Iranian Beluchistan.

His family last saw him in Zahefan prison last December saying his body showed obvious signs of torture.

Quoted on the Amir Kabiri site, Yaghoub's younger brother said it was being said that his brother had died in prison after being tortured and his trial and death sentence was only a way to hide the truth.

Mehrnahad is accused of having had contact with the armed group of Jondollah, that operates in Iranian Beluchistan.

Mehrnahad is not the first journalist condemned to death in recent years. Two other Kurdish journalists, Hiwa Boutimar and Adnan Hassanpour were condemned to death last July and are awaiting execution.

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Reporters sans frontières - Iran - Annual report 2008

ran’s leaders still accuse the independent media of being in the pay of the United States or the European Union, which has resulted in long prison terms for journalists from a cowed and complicit judiciary. Reporters based in Teheran and Kurdistan were targeted in 2007, with dozens of arrests, convictions and closures of newspapers.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hit the world’s headlines in 2007 with his diatribes against the West and his talk of nuclear development, saying it was “the country’s greatest battle” and using it to hide Iran’s economic and social problems. Several journalists protected by the regime’s hardliners strongly criticised him in print and some papers, with bogus liberalism, opposed government policies. Freelance journalists who did the same, however, were punished and the country remained the Middle East’s biggest prison for journalists, with more than 50 journalists jailed in 2007. Ten of them were still in prison at the end of the year.

When asked abroad about human rights violations and imprisonment of dissidents and members of religious and sexual minorities, Ahmadinejad insists that Iranians are “the freest people in the world.” But the regime’s persecution of journalists and human rights activists continued in 2007.

The March 2008 parliamentary elections are expected to see further restrictions on the free flow of information. Many reformist papers were closed and news websites blocked during the last elections in 2004.

Journalist condemned to death

Hundreds of people were executed in 2007 and the supreme court confirmed in November a death sentence on freelance journalist Adnan Hassanpour, accused of “undermining national security,” “spying,” “separatist propaganda” and being a mohareb (fighter against God). He was arrested on 25 January and has been in Sanandaj prison, in Kurdistan, since 18 July and has refused to sign any confessions. He was probably arrested because of his contacts with journalists working for the US-funded radio stations Radio Farda and Voice of America.


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Request from ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN to cancel the execution sentence of journalist ADNAN HASSANPOUR


Captivity of a journalist is the Captivity of the liberty all, and his /her abnormal death is an ashamed chapter of history
Request from ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN to cancel the execution sentence of journalist ADNAN HASSANPOUR
Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Article 3.Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 19.Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Dear Sirs:
Ayatollah SAYYED ALI KHAMNEI,leader of Islamic Republic of IRAN,
Ayatollah SHAHROUDI,
Dr. MAHMOUD AHMADINJAD, president of Islamic Republic of IRAN,
GHOLAMHOSAYN ELHAM, minister of justice,
MOHSENIYE EJEI, minister of intelligence,
Our co journalist, ADNAN HASANPOUR has been under arrest since 2006 December, according to the sentence which has been issued by revolutionary court of MARIWAN (first branch); he is condemned to be executed.
his attorney made a protest against this sentence, unfortunately after renewed inspection, the sentence has been remained intact. According to his statement there is just one legal way to object to this sentence.
We are some journalists – with different colors and races from all over the world, and we are gathered in this campaign to request you to cancel death sentence of our co journalist.
You are so well aware that history never forget death of ((Daniel Pear)) , ((Anna Pulitiko feskaya)) , ((Mastero jiakumo )) , (( Ajmal naghshbandi)) , etc. although number of journalists whom left the world of journalism by abnormal death (killing , execution , …) are not so much , but they all joined history and their names are and will be shiny in sheets of the history . Certainly Islamic Republic of IRAN does not intended to add other names to the list.
So we request you to cancel the issued death sentence for ADNAN HASSANPOUR and show your commitment to ((universal declaration of human rights)) and international conventions.

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