5 September 2008
Two journalists held without charge
SOURCE: Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), New York
(CPJ/IFEX) - The following is a 3 September 2008 CPJ press release:
IRAN: Two journalists held without charge
New York, September 3, 2008 - The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on
Iranian authorities to disclose charges against two detained Kurdish
journalists or release them immediately.
On August 28, security forces arrested Anvar Sa'di Muchashi and his cousin
at his home in Sanandaj, the capital of the Kordestan province in
northwestern Iran, and took them to an unknown location, local journalists
told CPJ. A colleague told CPJ that Muchashi, 29, wrote for various local
news outlets and has given interviews to Kurdish satellite channels as a
journalist and an activist. Muchashi is also a law student at Tehran
International University and was previously a staff writer at the now
banned weekly newspaper Karaftu.
A day before his arrest, Muchashi told his colleagues that he had received
a call from someone who identified himself as security personnel and told
Muchashi, "You have crossed the red lines," one of them told CPJ.
On August 9, security forces arrested Massoud Kurdpour, a freelance
journalist and human rights activist, at his home in Bokan, a Kurdish city
in northwest Iran, his brother Jaafar Kurdpour told CPJ. Kurdpour, staff
writer for the now banned weekly Didga (Views), has regularly given
interviews on Kurdish issues in Iran to international outlets such as Voice
of America, Radio Farda, BBC Persian, and Deutsche Welle.
"The secrecy surrounding the arrests of Anvar Sa'di Muchashi and Massoud
Kurdpour is disturbing," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "Our
colleagues are entitled to due process. We call on the Iranian authorities
to either charge or release them immediately."
Local journalists told CPJ that Muchashi and Kurdpour are not legally
entitled to a lawyer until they are formally charged.
Kurdpour's brother, who lives in Sweden, said the family has been in touch
with him in prison, and that when they last saw him a few days ago he had
lost weight and said he had been mistreated. He also said that his family
has not been able to talk to Kurdpour regarding his case during their
visits, but that they have heard from sources within the security services
that part of the reason he was picked up was that "he has talked to
international news agencies in the last 10 years."
Kurdpour's last interview was with the Kurdish service of the VOA on July
12 about a workers' strike commemorating the assassination of a Kurdish
leader by Iranian agents in Germany in 1989.
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safeguard press freedom worldwide.
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