Civil Liberties In Iran

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 6, 2009

This sounds depressingly familiar:

Iranian officials arrested a Japanese reporter and two Canadian reporters during anti-government protests this week and charged them with “unauthorized reporting,” the semiofficial Fars news agency reported Friday. It did not identify the reporters or their news organizations. The three reporters join two others whose agencies said they were also arrested during Wednesday’s protests marking the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Embassy here. Agence France Presse said its local reporter Farhad Pouladi was detained and the International Federation of Journalists said a Danish journalist, Niels Krogsgaard, was arrested in connection with the demonstration.

“The claim about the arrest of the AFP journalist is under investigation,” the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency cited Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi as saying Friday. Iranian media gave no further details on the other arrested foreigners. All are still believed to be in custody.

On Wednesday authorities temporarily blocked all access to e-mail programs such as Gmail and Yahoo during the demonstrations to prevent people from sending images to foreign media organizations. Still, many managed to upload cellphone clips to video sites, which were widely broadcast by foreign-based Farsi language satellite channels.

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