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REGIONS:

Journalist Morteza Firoozi reportedly sentenced to death; journalist Akbar Gandji reportedly arrested in December



(RSF/IFEX) - On 28 January 1998, RSF reported that journalist Morteza
Firoozi, the former editor of the English-language daily Iran News, was
reportedly sentenced to death for "spying for a foreign country." Firoozi
was arrested in June 1997, but authorities made no information available on
his situation or status (see IFEX alerts). The press in Tehran had initially
reported that he was arrested for spying for an eastern country; later the
press cited the United States instead. According to a senior Iranian
judiciary official, the death sentence has yet to be approved. RSF has no
further information as to the date on which the death sentence was
reportedly pronounced.





**New case plus update to IFEX alerts of 14 and 10 November 1997 (Firoozi
case)**

In a separate case, RSF reports that Akbar Gandji, a journalist with the
monthly "Kian", was arrested in early December 1997. No official information
is available on the arrest, but a petition organized by Iranian
intellectuals to demand the journalist's release has been initiated.

Recommended Action


Send appeals to the Iranian President:
  • reminding him that, throughout his presidential election campaign, he made
    commitments to freedom of expression and human rights, and recognizing that
    while he was in his former post as Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance
    the press was freer than it had ever been in Iran
  • asking him to use his influence and the powers bestowed on him to see that
    the death sentence against Firoozi is annulled and that Gandji is
    immediately and unconditionally released




    Appeals To



    His Excellency Mohammad Khatami
    President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    The Presidency
    Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Fax: +98 21 674790 (via Foreign Affairs, ask for fax to be
    forwarded)

    or fax care of the Iranian diplomatic representative in your country

    (in France)
    Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    4, avenue d'Iena
    75116 Paris, France
    Fax: +33 1 40 70 01 57

    (in Canada)
    Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    245 Metcalfe Street
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K2P 2K2 Canada
    Fax: +1 613 232 5712










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