21 مرداد 1390

14 Incarcerated Journalists-The Islamic Republic is Responsible for the Lives & Well Being of the Leaders of the Green Movement

12 August 2011

by Banooye Sabz

Khabarnegaran.info-Monday August 8th, 2011 - [Kaleme] - On the occasion of Reporter’s Day (August 8th), fourteen incarcerated journalists at Evin and Rajai Shahr prison issued a statement addressed to the Iranian nation. The signatories condemned the arrest, incarceration, oppression and censorship of journalist and the independent media outlets. In addition, they once again warned the Islamic Republic of Iran that they are responsible for the lives and well being of the leaders of the Green movement and their spouses Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karroubi, and all political and social activists behind bars.

The full content of the statement as provided to Kaleme is as follows:

In the past 105 years, the Iranian nation has taken historic steps towards their quest for freedom and democracy and upholding the law. In the last two years, in particular, we have witnessed a turning point that began with the elections on July 12th, 2009 and the subsequent birth of the Green Movement. The nation of Iran turned a new leaf and began to once again pursue its dream to achieve freedom, democracy and lawfulness, this time through a non violent, peaceful, social movement.

Today more than 40 Iranian journalists and media experts are behind bars. Some have been received life long bans and others been deprived for upwards of ten years from practicing their vocation, while others given their unsafe work environment and high risk associated with their professional life have opted for a form of self imposed exile.

In the past two years, the courts under the jurisdiction of the Islamic Republic have issued at minimum 40 years of prison sentences against journalists and media experts, while others continue to await their sentences. The Association of Iranian Journalists has been closed without judicial due process and during this time many of its board members have also been arrested and incarcerated.

Many newspapers, weekly periodicals, websites and web blogs have been banned, closed down or filtered. Publications published in local languages in areas such as Azarbaijan or Kordestan have been almost wiped out of existence as a result of the suppression and pressures by the ruling government, actions that are clearly contradictory to the principles of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The trend to threaten, summon and arrest journalists and media experts that began two years ago, continues. With the closure of newspapers and information centers, the closure of the offices of foreign news agencies and expulsion of journalists in a position to report the truth about the current events in Iran,the free flow of information and the right of every citizen to access information has been virtually blocked.

The closure of the two leading reform newspapers, Etemade Meli and Kaleme and the detention and house arrest of the the key management figures and policy makers of the aforementioned reform publications [including one of the leaders of the Green Movement], is indicative of the extreme pressures exerted upon the Iranian society, transforming it into an all around dictatorship.

The leaders of the Green Movement and their spouses have been under illegal house arrest for 175 days and in many ways their conditions are much worse than those endured by the undersigned journalists and media experts. There have been reports of their deteriorating physical condition, leading various physicians and freedom fighting Iranians to warn the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding their well being.

We the undersigned journalists and media experts on this occasion of Reporter’s Day, condemn the house arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi and their spouses Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karroubi. We deeply regret the manner in which the aforementioned individuals have been detained without an arrest warrant, incarcerated under prison like conditions, in the absence of a formal trial and judicial due process and demand that they be release. It goes without saying that the Islamic Republic of Iran is directly responsible for the lives and well being of the leaders of the Green Movement and their spouses Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karroubi and the lives of all other political prisoners and social and political activists currently behind bars.

Signed by:

1. Seyed Alireza Beheshti Shirazi

2. Ali Malihi

3. Siyamak Ghaderi

4. Alireza Rajai

5. Bahman Ahmadi Amoui

6. Massoud Bastani

7. Massoud Lavasani

8. Nader Karimi Jooni

9. Saeed Matinpour

10. Mohammad Sadigh Kabodvand

11. Mohmmad Davari

12. Sam Mahmoudi Sarabi

13. Keyvan Samimi

14. Isa Saharkhiz

Source: Kaleme: http://www.kaleme.com/1390/05/17/klm-68488/

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